Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Imperial Triumphant-Goliath

Vatican Records

It's not everyday that I come across a concept album, or in this case a concept EP, that is based upon the famed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. And yet here we are, you and I, sitting down to a discusiion about New York City's one and only Imperial Triumphant. While their name brings up images of Darth Vader and the so-called "precise" stormtroopers to me, in reality we are talking about a black metal outfit that was formed in 2005 and is fronted by Ilya Goddessraper (I assume that's his Christian name!) who, in addition to being the founder of the band, plays guitars, handles lead vocals and provided the orchestral composition for "Goliath". Featuring members of Pyrrhon, SecretChiefs 3 and Malignancy, Imperial Triumphant's new EP is just latest offering for this bunch as there has also been a demo, two other EPs, a single and one full-length album released. This 2-track EP clocks in at 13 minutes and 15 seconds and was engineered, mixed and mastered by the band alongside Colin Marston (Gorguts, Krallice, Nader Sadek, Atheist, Origin etc.). The purpose of these 2 songs is pretty straightforward as "Goliath" "serves as the soundtrack to the slaughter" that took place as a result of the sinfulness of both Sodom and Gomorrah. In layman's terms that means unrelenting, slow and torturous black metal with a healthy dose of weirdness swirled in to the witches brew to give it that extra "what the hey???" factor. The music of Imperial Triumphant sounds as if it is centered around the notion that the more unflinching and unapologetic one can sound the better. Ilya Goddessraper's vocals and guitar playing is testament to that notion as are the odd bass lines of Erik Malave. The two cuts here feature two separate drummers in Alex Cohen (who plays on "Gomorrah") and Kenny Grohowski (who plays on "Sodom") while two additional guests also lend a hand in making "Goliath" the ten foot plus beast that it is! On "Sodom" Colin Marston provides a "Warr Guitar" solo and then there is Darren Hanson, the  orchestral engineer, whose contribution should not be downplayed. While the overall impression that I get of these self-dubbed futurists, who are hoping that their music ends up "transcending the confines of modern black metal", suggests that not everyone will be able to fully integrate this music into their mainframes, I still recommend "Goliath" to the curious and adventurous.

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