Imperial Triumphant - Vile Luxury review
|Release date:||July 2018|
01. Swarming Opulence
02. Lower World
03. Gotham Luxe
04. Chernobyl Blues
06. Mother Machine
07. The Filth
08. Luxury In Death
Being inclined toward a considerable degree of artistic boldness and defiance of prevailing standards, it can often be difficult to say what really qualifies as "Avant-garde music" and what doesn't with any sort of authority. Whatever dietary supplements Imperial Triumphant are making use of in the morning, however, I think they're definitely hitting the mark for it.
The deconstructive metal trio known as Imperial Triumphant hail from New York, a city that is simultaneously one of the finest examples of human civilization while also one of the most obvious examples of poverty and urban decadence on the planet. The very title of Vile Luxury for their third full length appears to thematically mirror this odd dichotomy, reflecting on the puzzling interlinks between high technology, philosophies of equality, and cultural decline via a just as puzzling extreme metal formula that's both fresh and forward thinking with its grandiosity, while also still having a hearty dose of the filth and meanness associated with the brand. While Imperial Triumphant have certainly demonstrated their talent for experimental songwriting in the past (as well as Nazgûl cosplaying with their peculiar visual aesthetic), Vile Luxury really feels like something of a creative peak for the band, taking all the seemingly disparate yet well blended influences they were playing around with before and just making them come out that much tastier.
Repeated listens to Vile Luxury demonstrate that it is an effort in crafting something (relatively) unheard, and reveal that affixing the music here with a pre-established label is not going to prove an easy task. It's tempting to color Imperial Triumphant as blackened death metal, albeit a highly unusual participant in the style, but... what about those syncopated, prog like rhthyms and the jazzy piano on "Lower World"? What about the formless, almost droney techniques at work on "Chernobyl Blues" and "Mother Machine"? What about that doomy midsection on "The Filth?" Indeed, while they may display some enjoyable similarities to other bands (Chaos Ech?s, Deathspell Omega, Gorguts, Virus, among others), ultimately the most enjoyable aspect behind Imperial Triumphant's sound is that they display that similarity without becoming just another generic tech death or dissonant black metal band, while still borrowing from a whole heap of other influences both metal and nonmetal for the creation of their own truly distinct sound.
It's hard to deny that the realm of extreme metal, even if a relatively small corner of it, has seen a considerable burst in creativity this decade, particularly from bands displaying more contentedness to challenge some of its more rigid confines with the incorporation of odd lyrical themes or unusual sources of musical inspiration. Imperial Triumphant take charge at both, injecting interludes dripping of jazz, classical, and drone influence into an unusual, bouncy maelstrom of black and death metal while also addressing the conundrum of how advanced civilization can tackle the negative factors created by its own march forward into progress. Their music really feels like it could not have come at a better time for both the evolution of extreme metal as well as philosophical musings in unconventional art in general.
Like a dense, challenging, but nonetheless memorable work? You know where to go.
||Written on 10.08.2018 by|
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