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 »

Jun 142014

Hey motherfuckers, what up? (I feel I can call you a motherfucker because this is a metal blog and about half the metal bands I’ve seen on stage call me and everyone else in the audience a motherfucker at least a dozen times per set.) I’ll tell you what up with me.

I’m not watching the World Cup, because if I wanted to watch dudes run around for 90 minutes trying to score, I’d rather go to a bar. (I read that on the internet.) Or I’d go outside and set an ant bed on fire (they’d run around faster, though no more intelligibly, and it would all be over sooner). What I’ve been doing is crawling through the interhole finding things to write about on a Saturday morning. In particular, these things:


I saw the recent news that this Norwegian band have prepared a new album named From the Abyss They Rise and have signed with Non Serviam Records for its release on August 11. In fact, it’s already available for pre-order (here). From what I read, it appears the album will be a compilation, beginning with an EP’s worth of new songs and ending with music from their first demo. This is their first work in four years, and based on what they’ve done before, it should be worth checking out. Continue reading »

Oct 022013

(NCS guest writer Austin Weber put this New York band’s 2012 debut album Abominamentvm on his NCS list of last year’s best records. Now he reviews their new two-track release, Goliath.)

For the uninitiated, Imperial Triumphant are arguably one of the best new US black metal bands around. These New York City natives take a technically oriented approach to unorthodox black metal that is fueled by an unyielding desire to spread the anti-gospel.  Last year they released their debut album Abominamentvm, an impressive effort that distorted and contorted black metal in a unique way, deconstructing its tropes and showcasing audible bass playing, which is something that sadly is far too uncommon in black metal. A Deathspell Omega influence seems to be apparent, and yet their music also contains traces of old school black metal fury, occasional lumbering doominess, and unsettling psychedelic drone bursts, all of which do much to set them apart from being merely a product of one strain of influences.

The artwork is a good introduction and foil to Goliath‘s musical monstrosity. Your eyes are drawn immediately to a mammoth elephant, but as you look down you realize the beast has squashed a man’s head into a vicious oblivion of blood. That’s kind of how it feels to listen to this. Though Goliath is merely two songs, there’s a lot to immerse yourself in, as both are equally packed-to-the-brim, tour de force experiences. Continue reading »

Aug 212013

In this post I’ve collected three new videos and one new song on which you can feast your eyes and ears. Actually, although I can imagine eyes feasting — because I’ve seen hungry eyes before — ears just look like ears. But they will feast nonetheless.


After you have dined upon the following video from Iceland’s Skálmöld, and assuming you enjoy the taste of it, I strongly recommend you read this December 2012 NCS interview of the band’s lyricist and bass-player Snæbjörn Ragnarssonin conducted in Iceland by our very special traveling correspondent Gemma Alexander. There you will learn, among other things, about the complex rules of traditional Icelandic poetry that Snæbjörn follows in his lyrics, the stories from Norse legend that became the foundation for the band’s latest album Börn Loka (“Loki’s Children”), and the use of parallel fifths in the choral arrangements for the last part of the song “Gleipnir”.

I mention “Gleipnir” because that’s the song which is the subject of Skálmöld’s new video. You might be interested in knowing that in Norse legend “Gleipnir” was the name of the magical binding fashioned by dwarves to hold the monstrous wolf Fenrir in captivity — until the events of Ragnarök, when Fenrir breaks free and destroys Odin. Or so says The Font of All Human Knowledge. Continue reading »

Mar 102011


Okay, now that I have your attention:

I have the kind of mind that’s made happy by serendipitous connections between random occurrences. Maybe it’s a deep-rooted desire for order in the chaos of life. Or maybe I’m just easily made happy. Either way, within a 24-hour period I discovered two new music videos by two somewhat out-of-phase black metal bands that involved . . . nuns and nudity.

Let’s be clear: I do not fantasize about nude nuns. No way, no how. Not me. I just thought it was an interesting coincidence. Plus, these aren’t your average nuns. And this isn’t your typical black metal either.

The first clip is a new single by our favorite Ukrainian party animals, Semargl. They may not be TRVE, but damn, they know how to get you shakin’ your booty. The second clip is from a New York horde called Imperial Triumphant. The song featured in their blood-drenched video is closer to BM-standard, but it also has some rock-the-fuck-out hooks in it and cello riffing. Granted, it’s challenging to focus on the music when your mind is distracted by what’s happening on-screen, but I liked both songs.

A word of “warning”: I’m not kidding about the nudity. Be careful about who’s peering over your shoulder when you watch these. Continue reading »