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 »

Feb 172015


(Austin Weber reviews the forthcoming second album by Imperial Triumphant from New York City.)

From time time that rare band will come along that ushers in a paradigm shift, one whose style and ideas will be aped by countless other groups, the majority of which will never be able to improve upon what inspired them. Throughout the history of metal (and all other musical genres) this pattern has held true, no matter how much the metal community likes to talk of the good old days where everything sounded unique, which is a revisionist lie. However, though a rare accomplishment, there will always be a few acts capable of shifting and squirming out of the confines of their influences and branching out into new territory.

As modern metal has increased in complexity, genre-defining bands such as The Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah, Necrophagist, Gorguts, Ulcerate, and Deathspell Omega have provided inspiration that, in most hands, amounts to little more than re-tread templates used by bands who have a hard time making it their own. I mentioned Deathspell Omega last because their surging influence in black metal, and recently in death metal to degrees, is something I welcome, but often those who take influence from them seem to produce music that is more “in the vein of” than anything which improves upon Deathspell Omega or takes what they did to a musically new or different place.

As I said though, it’s a trend I am definitely behind, as it has led to a paradigm shift in the sound of many newer black metal bands. Yet I still do want to hear someone build upon that foundation to create something new rather than repetitive.

All of this is on my mind because New York City-based Imperial Triumphant have done this. They are the real deal — they have drawn inspiration from Deathspell Omega, but they’ve managed to meld that with classical influences, droning psychedelia, and an often death-metal-styled ruthlessness, coming out the other side with a warped sound distinctly their own.  Their new album, Abyssal Gods, is everything they’ve done before, yet taken to so many higher and darker levels, showcasing even crazier, more manic drumming, even more insane songwriting, and somehow, even weirder riffs than before. Continue reading »

Feb 162015


(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a new song by NYC’s Imperial Triumphant from their forthcoming second album, Abyssal Gods.)

Imperial Triumphant are not only one of the most important U.S. black metal acts currently active, truly carving their own stylistic path, but they are also important to the future of black metal. Not only do I not give two shits how presumptuous that sounds, but I am also very confident (as an overall largely un-confident person) in my assertion of both their unique skill and their liquefying intensity as musical operatives.

While their latest approaching album, Abyssal Gods, is overall a thoroughly vicious act of blasphemy packed with more memorable moments than many bands accumulate in a lifetime of albums, the song we are premiering today, “Krokodil”, is an even stranger and more off-beat track than the rest of the intricately composed yet grotesquely unfolding siren wails from hell that make up the rest of this ruthless record. Imperial Triumphant have always had a queasy, slower, droning counter-balance to their fury, infusing it with a needling sickness and a blackened nuance of psychedelia that puts you in a trance comparable to none. It’s exactly this facet of their sound in which “Krokodil” traffics. Continue reading »

Feb 032015


(Here’s Part 2 of Austin Weber’s fill-in round-up. Part 2 appeared here yesterday.)

Imperial Triumphant

I’ve been championing Imperial Triumphant for several years now. This New York City-based black metal group are on the cutting edge sonically and compositionally. In just two weeks the band will be dropping a new full-length called Abyssal Gods. Having heard it already, I can confidently say it’s jaw-dropping on numerous levels and of a quality and ferocity that few black metal acts can touch. Continue reading »