Jul 242020


(Here’s Andy Synn‘s review of Imperial Triumphant‘s new album, which will be released on July 31st by Century Media Records.)

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Vile Luxury, the career-defining 2018 release from Avant-Black trio Imperial Triumphant, is a modern-day classic.

Unorthodox, unconventional, and uncompromising to a fault, its fusion of moody soundscapes, abrasive, blackened belligerence, and free-wheeling, jazzed-up instrumentation sounded like nothing else at the time, and still has very few peers or rivals today.

Such success, however, can easily be an albatross, a noose, a shackle, and it raises the question – how does any band, any artist, respond, react to, or reject, the pressure to follow up such a magnum opus?

The answer of course, is that they go bigger, go bolder… they go back in time and back to the future… they go to Alphaville. Continue reading »

May 292020


This has been a weird week: Until now, I haven’t managed to assemble a single round-up of new music and videos. I have written a dozen premieres, some of those full albums or EPs, as well as getting other people’s writings ready to post, so it’s not as if I’ve been a complete slug. But even with all that, in a normal time I’d still manage to curate a collection or two of new things.

Instead, this week I’ve noticed that after mid-day I tend to fall into a malaise, and find it difficult to do much of anything except force myself to tend to the occasional demands of my increasingly not-very-demanding day job. I think I know why this is happening, and might explain it tomorrow. But for now I’ve roused myself enough to get this round-up completed before giving up again. I’m way behind and hope to do more tomorrow.


In this first kaleidoscopic selection, you’ll be engulfed by riotous drumming and cascades of harrowing and blazing guitars, whose multi-textured sounds channel feelings of grim devastation and flashes of feral ebullience. The deep roaring vocals have a tormented countenance, and the dense sounds that surround them have a sweeping quality, creating a mixture of mayhem and extravagant brilliance. Continue reading »

Nov 062019


(Andy Synn was fortunate to catch the Nottingham stop on Imperial Triumphant‘s current European tour, with support at the show by Bast and Abduction, and transmitted the following report along with videos of the performances.)

If you’re not at least a little bit concerned about the state of the underground Metal scene in the UK then you’ve not been paying enough attention.

It’s nothing to do with a lack of talent, by any means, as there are innumerable bands out there right now who are all more than capable of going toe-to-toe with the best that the rest of the world has to offer. No, the real concern is a combination of two factors.

First, there’s the ongoing gentrification of our inner cities, with rising rents and rapacious developers continuing to exert crushing pressure on our small-to-mid-sized venues (we’re losing two of my favourites, Temple of Boom in Leeds and The Flapper in Birmingham, very soon), which in turn results in both greater competition for dates between bands as the live circuit contracts and more and more promoters/venues pivot towards courting more profitable, mainstream-friendly fare.

Then there’s the ongoing travesty of Brexit which, regardless of the politics behind it, is going to make it much more difficult for small/medium sized bands to tour the EU, and is likely to also cause problems for foreign bands wanting to tour the UK (where the margin of feasibility, when all costs and logistics are summed up, is often razor-thin).

So please, make sure to support your local promoters and local venues whenever and wherever you can. Because without them gigs like tonight’s extraordinary experience just wouldn’t be possible. Continue reading »

Jan 282019


The two tracks I’ve added to this list today are diabolically inventive, and in different ways they awaken primal fears and desires. They also happen to include lyrics of rare eloquence and evocative power.


“Built around a core of discordant, dissonant Black Metal, but embellished and expanded by a freakish array of jazzy elements and avant-garde ingredients, Vile Luxury is an album which revels in its own chaotic contradictions as a way of challenging and exploiting the expectations of its audience.”

Those were among the impressions my friend Andy provided in his review of the 2018 album by New York’s Imperial Triumphant. “By turns unsettling and off-kilter, moody and malevolent”, he wrote, “its warped blend of jarring juxtapositions and stark contrasts sees the group… making purposeful use of both harsh shifts in tone and smooth segues between styles to keep the listener on the edge of their seat and to maintain an aura of potent unpredictability”. Continue reading »

Aug 132018


(In this post Andy Synn has packaged together six new reviews of six outstanding new albums across a range of metal sub-genres.)

I don’t know about you, but this year I’m finding it far harder than ever before to stay on top of all the new and upcoming releases proliferating throughout the Metalsphere.

Partially this can be attributed to the growing pressures of my day job, combined with the fact that I’m currently renovating my house and working hard on Beyond Grace album #2 (with an eye also turned towards future work for both Twilight’s Embrace and Apathy Noir too), but a lot of it is just down to this simple truth… there’s simply too much music, and not enough hours in the day, to cover it all.

Still, it wounds me to think of all the great (and good) albums and artists out there who our readers might otherwise be missing out on, so consider this another desperate attempt to redress the balance somewhat. Continue reading »

May 062018


There’s a lot of new music in this week’s SHADES OF BLACK, which I suppose isn’t all that unusual. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of time for me to write about it, in part because of time spent on a rare Sunday premiere (which also comes from black subterranean realms) and in part because I have other plans for today that will separate me from the computer; I hope I don’t experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

I’ll begin with streams of two fantastic new albums and follow those with four individual songs from forthcoming releases, one of which is paired with an outstanding video.


Maybe it’s not too soon to proclaim the emergence of a trend. Like an unusually high number of other occurrences this year, the august Dutch band Urfaust launched their new (fifth) album with no warning, no advance promotion, no opportunities for scurrilous scribblers to review it before release. This happened on Friday, and although I’ve only managed to listen to The Constellatory Practice once since then, my impulse is to proclaim it a triumph. Continue reading »

Sep 222016



(Austin Weber reports on an impending tour by Imperial Triumphant.)

While the US black metal scene is far from a dry and empty wasteland with nothing worth talking about, there’s always one group I’ll continue to champion above almost all else. And that would be Imperial Triumphant, a New York City-based group that our site’s architect Islander has been covering since 2011, before I even began writing for No Clean Singing. If memory serves correctly, my initial post about the band was in December of 2012, when I placed their initial 2012 full-length, Abominamentvm, on my very first NCS year-end list after first covering them for the local magazine gig I was a part of prior to NCS.

In the years since, the band have flourished in a way that almost defies even the earliest expectations. They’ve continued to up the ante with each release, and continue to prove their worth with a rare and evil brilliance you’re hard-pressed to find much of in a scene often obsessed with repeating the same sounds in the same ways as their forbearers, ad nauseam. Continue reading »

Apr 072016

Imperial Triumphant-Inceste


(Austin Weber reviews the new EP by NY’s Imperial Triumphant — who just released another new song from the EP.)

Watching Imperial Triumphant grow and morph in so many odd directions over the years has been pretty interesting. I first started covering these guys back in 2012 when Abominamentvm dropped, and even then I correctly foresaw them as being a group focused on deconstructing black metal into an otherworldly force of disturbing imagination and horror. True to form, they’ve really been giving it their all ever since then. First there was the two-song crushing blow of Goliath in 2013. Then came another phenomenal full-length just last year called Abyssal Gods. I’m still reeling from the experience that record delivered, yet the band is already back with a four-song EP named Inceste that comes out pretty soon — on April 15th.

After a release as batshit crazy and eclectic as Abyssal Gods, I was excited to hear what new realms of misery they cooked up this time. And damn, Inceste does not disappoint at all. It traps and delivers all their many forms of sonic tinkering and dissonant filth, with a healthy round of guests aiding in their eerie quest to musically hit rock bottom and become purely chaotic noise. At least this time they were kind enough to brace us for the coming storm with “Libertine” as a subdued opener. But as soon as track two, “Kaleidescopic Orgies”, unfurls its queasy, almost Gorguts-like off-kilter opening rhythm, and then seesaws between dark swirling chaos and surreal sensory overload, you know this ride will be just as wild as any the band have given us before. If there is one sensation that comes to mind when I sit through this, nausea would be it. Imperial Triumphant continue to deliver frantic odes to death that never rest and endlessly rage into fits of madness. Continue reading »

Mar 232016

In Mourning-Afterglow


Here are a trio of selected songs that caught our eyes and ears over the last 24 hours.


As previously reported, Sweden’s In Mourning have a new album on the way named Afterglow, which features wonderful cover art by Kristian “Necrolord” Wåhlin and also marks the first appearance of the band’s new drummer, Daniel Liljekvist (ex-Katatonia). This morning the band debuted a lyric video for the first advance track from the album, a song named “Below Rise To the Above”. Continue reading »

Sep 112015

Abigail Williams-The Accuser


A few days ago I was in a sour mood because it appeared I might have to go to Alaska for my fucking day job, with the prospect of spending 10 days there in a state of metal sensory deprivation. As things turned out, I did in fact have to go to Alaska — and then turned around 24 hours later and flew back to Seattle. So while the entire escapade was ridiculous (and not worth explaining), the good news is that I can return to normal blogging activity.

Of course, while I was distracted with all this nonsense, dozens of new songs and videos appeared that were worth recommending to you. Our pal Leperkahn stepped up and wrote a 3-part post that we published earlier today featuring 16 of them. However, that collection did not cover everything on my own list of goodies, and in addition Austin Weber sent in a couple of suggestions himself. So in this post I’ve included Austin’s two songs (and I’ll identify which ones they are when I come to them), plus a couple of my own. At the risk of driving you into sensory overload, still more will follow from my list over the weekend.


Last fall we debuted demo versions of two awesome songs from Abigail Williams’ new album, The Accuser, but today brought the premiere of the album’s first track. I actually got wind of it yesterday through an e-mail alert from Bandcamp that the song had appeared on Candlelight’s page for the album. The song’s name is “Path of Broken Glass“. Continue reading »