NYC’s weird Imperial Triumphant warp minds, incinerate wills on devastating new ‘Abyssal Gods’

Imperial TriumphantWell, hey, mid-week and the motivation and energy are on their low end. That is expected, as we drag toward the weekend and a temporary solace, but for now, let’s talk about something that should keep us awake and, dare I say, utterly terrified until then.

NYC’s Imperial Triumphant have struck back with another album of jarring, experimental, codeine cough syrup-laced black metal on their furious and baffling new record “Abyssal Gods.” This album can lull you into a dream-state haze and split the side of your head open the very next minute, and they are practically the dictionary definition of the word “unpredictable.” These 10 tracks go from astonishingly brutal to feeling like something out a fever-induced nightmare, to something elegant and classy, but in a way that feels like someone was murdered and you’ve stumbled on the path of said destruction. This second album from this crew is a serious escalation in trauma, and it’s bound to leave you feeling uncomfortable and terribly uneasy.

Imperial Triumphant coverThe fellows behind this band you’ll know from other places, with Ilya Ezrin on guitars, vocals, and orchestration; Alex Cohen (Epistasis, Pyrrhon, Malignancy) and Kenny Grohowksi on drums; and Erik Malave (Pyrrhon) on bass. Joining them on this massive, mesmerizing document are a bevy of other musicians who add their talents, including Bloody Panda’s arresting and captivating vocalist Yoshiko Ohara, who help makes the warped, terrifying “Krokodil” reaches even greater heights of deranged wonder. This record sounds like one that could be played fittingly in a castle entertainment hall or a dank dungeon, where thirsty rats roam looking for an evening meal.

“From Palaces of the Hive” begins the crazed assault, with synth sheets raining down, chaotic horns bursting forth, and the pace going nuts with the vocals sounding monstrous. The attack continues until it finally fades and leads into the title cut. That song lurches hard, jarring up the contents of your stomach, with the melodies feeling woozy and terrifying. “Dead Heaven” is jammed with weirdness, with the guitars charging forward, the vocals registering as a gurgly growl, and the song getting warped in a million different ways. There are spooky group howls, with the music hitting a tear that’s practically cartoon-like in its fury. The last moments then crush and mash you into the dirt. Instrumental “Celestial War Rape” follows, with nightmarish choral arrangements and sparks of true horror preparing you for “Opposing Holiness” that staggers out of the gates like a mad man with a sharp, rusty weapon. The song is thrashy and vicious, making its point and getting out while you’re completely disoriented.

The aforementioned “Krokodil” is up next, and it begins with two minutes of damage that slowly builds its intensity. The music hangs in the air like a cloud of stinging insects, with a pace that is beyond messed up and vocals sung entirely in Russian (with Ohara one of the voices with the biggest impact). The song makes your head feel odd, but when it’s over, you’ll know you’ve been on one hell of an adventure. “Twins” trudges and pounds, with destructive madness spilling out and you left feeling like you’ve been drugged and left for dead. The pace plays around, slowing down and speeding up, and the track ends on a thrashy march. “Vatican Lust” is another instrumental that pits its roots into a cloud of tornadic noise, ambiance, and ominous bell ringing, and then it’s into “Black Psychedelia,” which is a bit of a misleading name. You’re not headed deep into space; you’re bound for the graveyard. The track situates itself in filthy doom, with the growling sounding menacing, the tempo feeling beastly, and great soloing erupting. In fact, if anything, this is the most conventional track on the record, yet it would be the oddball on any other band’s album. It flat out destroys at the end, with a weird transmission taking it out and into the instrumental finale “Metropolis.” This sounds like something from the “BioShock” soundtrack, with weird fuzz filling the room, eloquent old piano dripping, and the song feeling kind of jazzy, like a classy final salute as you’re lowered into oblivion.

You’re definitely not going to have a run-of-the-mill experience taking on “Abyssal Gods.” It’s furious and fascinating, always twisting and turning itself into a brand new beast. Imperial Triumphant have succeeded in injecting a sense of unseen danger into their work, and you’re going to be on the edge of your seat as you’re moved by the drama and kept alert in case you need to run for your life.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/imperialtriumphant

To buy the album, go here: http://www.auralwebstore.com/shop/index.php

For more on the label, go here: http://www.auralmusic.com/

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