Review: “An Evening With Imperial Triumphant” by Imperial Triumphant

“Born in the metropolis Imperial Triumphant embodies the sounds of New York. The chaos, the menagerie, the perils and majesty of the greatest city on Earth. We portray this great juxtaposition between high society luxury co-existing with absolute filth and urban decay. Our city is the corpse f a giant. What was once to bright, grand and spectacular is now filled with the greedy maggots writing towards their share of success. We don’t support it nor ware we against it. We only play the sounds of the New York City as we hear them” ~ Imperial Triumphant

Following 2020’s critically acclaimed “Alphaville“, releasing a live album that is a celebration of that is very much what the doctor ordered a year on so Avant-garde Black Metallers Imperial Triumphant have chosen a set recorded at the infamous New York Slipper Room, the cities most notorious variety theatre for our listening pleasure. For older fans the set includes a trio of cuts from 2018’s “Vile Luxury” however the decision has been made not to include anything from 2015’s “Abyssal Gods” or 2014’s “Shrine to the Trident Throne” which may disappoint some, the opportunity for a double album not followed this time around. The performance itself is one of raw majesty, caustic vocals from Zachary Ilya Ezrin are almost demonic as if calling from the other side of the void while the drums from Kenny Grohowski are a little volatile as if played without a click in a kind of jazz inspired way and that gives the album itself an Underground Metal vibe, the feel of a more natural and primitive recording with old school techniques and analogue machinery and even if that is not the case, that unpolished feel only serves to add to the majestic unnerving and uneasy glory of the music the band create. “Atomic Age” sounds like ordered chaos in a dark World with eerie sounds creeping out from behind the funky basslines of Steve Blanco, even if the mix sees the vocals being less prominent than you would want them to be, but this is a live performance and so the warts and all we get here is exactly what any fan going to a show would get, which can only be a good thing. The saxophone introduction of “Cosmopolis” is beautiful before the head first descent into the chaos of Avant-garde Jazz fuelled Black Metal with raw aggression and warped complexities. There are points at which you have to simply hold on to your sanity and listen perplexed at the performance because there is an awful lot to take in from just three musicians that is until the grandeur of “Alphaville” and “The Greater Good” which brings a bigger main riffs which in turn lift everything in the same way as the moments of Jazz do. Overall just as an acquired taste as the bands studio work but some how even more eclectic… [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Rotted Futures
  2. Atomic Age
  3. Chernobyl Blues
  4. Cosmopolis
  5. Alphaville
  6. Transmission To Mercury
  7. Swarming Opulence
  8. The Greater Good

An Evening With Imperial Triumphant” by Imperial Triumphant is out 26th November 2021 via Century Media

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