By Sooraj Ram
Avant-Garde is something that not everyone would listen to on a pleasant, sunny day. Recently, the genre exploded with variety of experimentation from a lot of bands – new and old. The famous Experimental Trio, Imperial Triumphant redefined the genre by keeping a distinct and original sound throughout. Obeisance, released in 2010 became the benchmark for their sound and they kept adding classical influences to give their songs a technical yet groovy flair. Upon listening to their songs it’s clear that the band is heavily influenced by the Avant Garde/Black Metal band Deathspell Omega. Jazzy Black Metal might be the last thing that one needs, but the guys in Imperial Triumphant have perfected this style even though many classify the band as Death Metal, but seriously, Jazzy Death Metal is as weird as Jazzy Black Metal.
Their new album, Vile Luxury, comprises of 8 tracks with every single track having a purposes of its own, which is to keep the listener busy by mixing weird instrumental combinations and providing a soothing sound backed by growling. Personally, even though I liked the vocals, instrumentation is what stole the show here. In an industry with saturated instrumentation and unoriginal songwriting, Imperial Triumphant is indeed the change I hoped for. Beautifully executed drums is one of the elements that stood out the most.
As a drummer myself, I found the technique used by Imperial Triumphant fascinating. Every instrument is mixed properly without deteriorating the sound of drums. The reason why I’m pointing this out is because of the recent death metal renditions I’ve heard where the drums are muted or overpowered. When the other instruments are too forward over the drums, they spoil the mix and consequently destroy the quality of the entire song. So, kudos to Imperial Triumphant in their ability to maintain a sturdy and quality sound throughout the album.
“Vile Luxury combines the various musical elements that follow well within the tradition of music in New York, a monolith of the Western world, of constant experimentation and appropriation of all things that enter it, never leaving the same as it came” – Imperial Triumphant
Vile Luxury is a fresh take on a saturated genre like Blackened Death Metal. An AOTY contender for sure and hopefully the folks over Imperial Triumphant would considering adding a harmonica or a harp on their next album. But I surely believe they will try something new on their next album for which I very much looking forward to.