One of my favorite bands in the avant-garde/experimental metal scene Imperial Triumphant is releasing their album “Alphaville” later this month on July 31st. Somehow, someway I was able to get my grimy hands on this gloriously unusual piece of music by the New York trio. The older I get, the more I understand and appreciate these very different artists and albums. A lot of bands keep the wheel going writing the same styles of music over and over, and then there’s bands like this that blend a plethora of genres and sounds you normally wouldn’t hear mixed together. That is what I love about the guys, they aren’t afraid to try anything and tarnish their look or sound of being “metal”. Don’t get me wrong this album is still very heavy they sure haven’t ditched their black metal roots that’s for sure. I found myself (more often than as much in the past with Imperial Triumphant) expecting the unexpected with “Alphaville” and were my artistic senses ever tingling with each passing minute.
Ilya, Blanco and Grohowksi have really upped the ante with this album. It is far more “out there” than their previous releases and is equally as enjoyable for weirdos like myself. Bands like Imperial Triumphant are a rare breed of true originality these days where it seems that trait is dwindling quickly among many bands right now. The band even got Tomas Haake of Meshuggah to do a guest drum solo on the single “City Swine”! If you’re concerned about the band becoming more “commercial” and “accessible”(now being on a bigger record label) both singles should be proof they’re still the furthest thing from that. You can listen to “Rotted Futures” above for more proof.
Colin Marston produced the album and sure as heck had his hands full with the band’s unusual production and did another great job as expected. Heck they didn’t even use a click track to record the album! In a day where lots of editing and artificial elements are in music, it’s awfully impressive the band is putting out a very natural sounding album. Only Imperial Triumphant would use Japanese drums made out of wine barrels found in New York City to record an album with.
“Alphaville” is definitely one of the most interesting and standout releases of 2020 alongside releases like Pyrrhon’s “Abcess Time” and Ulcerate’s “Stare Into Death & Be Still” (wow wouldn’t that be quite the odd tour package, aye?). This is a definitely good year for experimental metal and couldn’t be more proud of this great trio. The chaotic, unusual rhythms and odd background noises are more prevalent than ever in comparison to their past efforts. The artwork is absolutely breathtaking and perfectly complements the band’s music. The band put a ton of effort into this album and it really shows a unique cohesiveness on every aspect of it. There are also two covers on the album, “Experiment” originally done by Voivod and “Happy Home” a song from a band called The Residents.
When some miserable old coot that complains “everything sounds the same these days” show them this album and they will be blown away or freaked out. This album is a truly captivating and unique experience and I hope the rest of the world feel the same way as I do. It’s time to join the cult known as Imperial Triumphant.