Jul 182022
 

(Andy Synn says… grab your laudanum and snuff, it’s time for some glorious musical depravity)

All that glitters is not golden… or so they say. And Imperial Triumphant have spent the last several years peeling back the gilded veneer of New York city to reveal the rotten apple beneath.

Along the way they’ve continued to push the boundaries of Black Metal – both sonically and structurally – to the point where it’s debatable if the term even applies to their music any more.

Of course, the issue with constantly pushing boundaries like this is that you rarely have time to stop and take stock of who and where you are, with the result being that the idea of external progress often trumps the possibility of internal growth.

Which brings us to Spirit of Ecstasy, an album which – unexpectedly – finds Imperial Triumphant looking more inwards than forwards, seemingly more at home, more at ease, more comfortable, in their own shining skin then ever before.

But “comfortable” doesn’t mean “complacent” by any means. Because a band with nothing left to prove is also a band with nothing left to lose…

Continue reading »

May 202022
 

When I woke up this morning I had planned to do a big round-up of 8 new songs and videos that I’d picked during a listening/viewing session yesterday afternoon. Bleary-eyed, I found messages from Mr. Synn telling me about four other new songs and videos that had popped up overnight from bands we all favor. What to do?

What I decided to do was go with those four newer ones today, plus one of the 8 I picked yesterday, and push the others I found yesterday into another round-up tomorrow. Trust me, even with the slight delay those others will be well worth your time on Saturday.

IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT (U.S.)

“Atmospheres awash with mysterious origins. Sacred rites of passage and formidable knowledge lead to marvels of engineering. Funnelling the mass into a finite horizon all roads travel in duality. Blurred is the line between real and illusion as the last scream of truth is destroyed by evil so grotesque. It transforms into a lone rider traveling into the forbidden darkness…”

Those are the words proffered by Imperial Triumphant for “Maximalist Scream“, the first advance track from their new album Spirit of Ecstasy, which comes with this intriguing cover art: Continue reading »

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.

SELBST

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.

IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT

“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.

URFAUST

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
 

imperial-triumphant-tour-bill-photo

 

(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 »