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Imperial Triumphant - Spirit Of Ecstasy review




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Reviewer:
9.0

83 users:
7.81
Band: Imperial Triumphant
Album: Spirit Of Ecstasy
Release date: July 2022


01. Chump Change
02. Metrovertigo
03. Tower Of Glory, City Of Shame
04. Merkurius Gilded
05. Death On A Highway
06. In The Pleasure Of Their Company
07. Bezumnaya
08. Maximalist Scream


To borrow a line from Alan Averill, “We are Nero, and Rome is burning.” Imperial Triumphant don’t just revel in deconstruction, they overindulge. Like the worst kind of WoW Alliance gankers, they corpse-camp Rome over and over, ever searching for new structural weaknesses to exploit. Why? Because they can.

What’s this dusty backpack I am carrying, you ask? Ye Good Olde Container Ov Conventions™, that’s what. What’s this weight off of my back, you ask? Seems Imperial Triumphant just tore the sad sack a new asshole. Watch my subgenres, references, analytical tools, and space-suit vanish into entropic smoke. Set your phasers to “mindfuck”, and dive into debauchery and decay to see how far into the black hole we can go by aiming in directions increasingly left-field of the centre of the orgy. I lost my sense of direction already to the tom-tommy Tommy gun of the opening tom-toms tom-tommingly tom-tomming along (bro, watch out, the amphitheatre is quicksand), given vibrant life by returning producer Trey Spruance (Mr. Bungle).

Imperial Triumphant just took off with the replacement bag their Mob Ov Merkurial Mannequins™ had sewn for me, so I’ll just borrow more lines to buy myself some time, so I can lose track of it again. Speaking of and in borrowed lines, “Once upon a time there was a line that we had drawn, we wouldn’t cross / Because it was wrong, but lines are bendable and seldom very long.” Bonus negative points to whoever may Google the non-metal artist behind these words. Yesss, non-metal, possibly even non-music. Now! Here’s how to play Curveball™! Read the rules before joining the match, break all the ones you might get away with, make up arbitrary new ones, break a prime number of rules for an unrelated game, eat some asphalt, then fart in the general direction of the goalpost while calling it silly names.

Deconstruction? Okay, can do: This is normally where I start safeguarding myself with a vocabulary highly open to interpretation. Experimental, sure, sure. Avant-garde, yeah, yeah. Progressive, technical, free-form, blah, blah. Voivod, Deathspell Omega, Kayo Dot; as I’m reaching into the depths of my Dropper Ov Names™, I barely pull my hand back out in time to dodge its spontaneous self-conflagration. For my third and last allocated quote for tonight, courtesy of Hank Von Helvete high as hell on Heroin™ (avoid clicking this for less information): “So you think you had a calzone? Well, not like this!” Tom-tom-tom-tom-tom… Reverberating growls… What time is it? Grand, I’m still stuck in the opening minutes of “Chump Change” with half a review and barely the trace of a train of thought to go; time to use a life-line. I’d go for calling a friend, but “Chump Change” has devolved into discordant decoherence, and a guitar noise masquerading as a Romicidal Raid Siren™ is drowning out any connection, so I’ll just ask for the 50/50. Heads, I win; tails, you lose. “B’boom” - Curveball™ - go!

Beats me what the spirit of music did to get Imperial Triumphant on the ass of its boundaries, but the NYC trio comes prepared for war. Knowing well the perils of walking alone, they have surrounded themselves with a makeshift tribe of misfits to help them turn the Rome-a-sackin’ (trademark pending, somehow claimed already) up to eleven. Is it here that I can finally catch a break and possibly triangulate Spirit Of Ecstasy (the title, by the way, refers to the hood ornament on Rolls-Royce; a Vile Luxury indeed) relative to some passing semblance of normality? This problem is left as an exercise for the reader while spotting, for example, elevator-saxophone icon Kenny G and Emmy-winning children’s TV trombonist J. Walter Hawkes among the cast. The former lays down a smoothly urgent solo piecewise duelling a seriously shredding guitar throughout the latter half of single “Merkurius Gilded”, anchoring its mayhem to melody for a while before getting out just in time to avoid a Curveball™ free-form scalpel dissecting the very time signature(s?) of the final section into smithereens. The latter… Ah, crap.

Listen, I’m going to level with you, I can barely tell one orifice from another here. String quartet Seven Suns bring eerie textures at places, Colin Marston (Gorguts, Krallice) might be the one responsible for previously mentioned shredding (but it turns out to be previous session guitarist Max Gorelick, who also happens to be Kenny G’s son), and Voivod’s Snake closes off the album with blood-curdling shrieks… It doesn’t really matter who does what in this vortex, and my RAM is already working overtime, so let’s aim for some sort of soft landing to this review:

Spirit Of Ecstasy distinguishes itself from predecessor Alphaville in (m)any number of ways, mainly through being even more unpredictable, but also by the pervasive, nightmarish Lynchian ambiance; the avant-garde and jazz mementos of Lost Highway being suspiciously immediate references springing to mind. This surreal ambience comes to the front on penultimate “Bezumnaya”, which develops from sparse, industrial beats into frantic blast beasts, and in fact, this is possibly the clearest reference point I can muster; Spirit Of Ecstasy sounds like it feels to watch Lost Highway (kindly refrain from asking follow-up questions until further notice), which just happens to be one of my favourite films of all time. I can say little for sure, to sum up, save for the obvious replayability inherent to the album. I’ve played it numerous times, and keep noticing new stuff all the time: a rhythmic interplay here, some tempo abuse there, impressive details abound, and if I’d been writing this tomorrow, I’d likely have too much to say. Not only that, but I believe the band has yet to reach their full potential!

Until Imperial Triumphant again reach out, Spirit Of Ecstasy will challenge, frustrate, amaze, and generally keep a lot of adventurous music lovers intrigued by, and busy with, becoming deconstructors, themselves, to sack the Rome out of this album. Until they deconstruct further into the proverbial avant-garde (forefront) of extreme music, Spirit Of Ecstasy stands as a milestone, behind layers of taunting Roman walls, but until then...

We are Nero, and Rome is burning.”



Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Production: 9





Written on 20.07.2022 by 100% objective opinions.


Comments

Comments: 28   Visited by: 238 users
20.07.2022 - 05:46
Rating: 9
Lord Slothrop

I was already hyped for the new album and your review just made it go up another notch. Giggity.
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20.07.2022 - 09:12
Rating: 9
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
If the album is half as chaotic as this review, I'm game
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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20.07.2022 - 23:12
nikarg
Mod
Lost Highway

I expected no less from you. I read the review three times in a row, very slowly, while playing the album. I'm afraid I still haven't totally grasped either, but I don't intend to give up trying any time soon.
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21.07.2022 - 16:32
Rating: 9
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by Lord Slothrop on 20.07.2022 at 05:46

I was already hyped for the new album and your review just made it go up another notch. Giggity.

Mission accomplished, then! You won't be disappointed when it's released tomorrow, I'm quite sure.

Written by RaduP on 20.07.2022 at 09:12

If the album is half as chaotic as this review, I'm game

Now that you've heard it, what's the chaos ratio?

Written by nikarg on 20.07.2022 at 23:12

Lost Highway

I expected no less from you. I read the review three times in a row, very slowly, while playing the album. I'm afraid I still haven't totally grasped either, but I don't intend to give up trying any time soon.


I learned today that the trio are actually quite the Lynch fans, which makes sense, they work with different art forms but a similar approach somehow. I sort of gave up "grasping", just like when watching Lost Highway or Inland Empire, after a while, to be honest. I don't think this is an album made for intellectual analysis as much as emotional resonation - kind of how I approach Lost Highway (and this review). Glad you enjoyed it!
----
"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
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21.07.2022 - 16:52
Rating: 9
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Netzach on 21.07.2022 at 16:32

Written by RaduP on 20.07.2022 at 09:12

If the album is half as chaotic as this review, I'm game

Now that you've heard it, what's the chaos ratio?

I'd say it's pretty even.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
Loading...
23.07.2022 - 11:04
Rating: 1
terroriser

For me it's absolutely rubbish. Its like modern classical music with guitars and drums. Zero music, pure noise
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23.07.2022 - 13:22
Rating: 7
doez
Hallucigenia
Written by terroriser on 23.07.2022 at 11:04

For me it's absolutely rubbish. Its like modern classical music with guitars and drums. Zero music, pure noise

Mu brother in christ you probably have never listened to noise given the way you talk about it
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An album rated 6 is an album I enjoyed
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23.07.2022 - 18:24
Rating: 1
terroriser

Written by doez on 23.07.2022 at 13:22

Written by terroriser on 23.07.2022 at 11:04

For me it's absolutely rubbish. Its like modern classical music with guitars and drums. Zero music, pure noise

Mu brother in christ you probably have never listened to noise given the way you talk about it


Does Britney and 50pence count?
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23.07.2022 - 19:43
Rating: 9
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by terroriser on 23.07.2022 at 18:24

Does Britney and 50pence count?

Hint: no.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
Loading...
24.07.2022 - 06:05
Rating: 5
Aries Rising

David Lynch is overrated and Fire Walk with Me is probably the best thing he's ever done.
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24.07.2022 - 06:53
Rating: 10
ChapuLviz

Written by terroriser on 23.07.2022 at 11:04

For me it's absolutely rubbish. Its like modern classical music with guitars and drums. Zero music, pure noise

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24.07.2022 - 13:27
Alakazam
all eyez on me
Written by Aries Rising on 24.07.2022 at 06:05

David Lynch is overrated and Fire Walk with Me is probably the best thing he's ever done.

Absolutely on point. Twin Peaks and most of Lynch is way too long for its own good, which harpers upon replayability value.

In fact, despite its pretty art, Alphaville kept getting worse repeatedly upon spinning so I'm guessing this will be more of the same.

[edit] I'm revisiting that now and am having a decent time. I definitely sense a Gorguts like performance sorta Neptunian Maximalism palate.

As much as I'm finding the art for this one to be Klimt on Kitsch estrogen, I have to admit happily that I am jealous of their zoetrope style they went into the vinyl, which is such a seriously underrated underused concept. Would like to see Alphaville and many others go for this as it's ingenious. But thats these guys for you, a very love-hate affair.

----
I may not have the largest collection but I certainly have the absolute best

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25.07.2022 - 19:36
Rating: 9
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by Aries Rising on 24.07.2022 at 06:05

David Lynch is overrated and Fire Walk with Me is probably the best thing he's ever done.

Fire Walk With Me was a mess of a movie... I like Twin Peaks, but this movie simply ain't good. Sort of mandatory viewing for anyone who wants to watch season 3, but otherwise I wouldn't recommend it to anybody. Lost Highway or Inland Empire is where it's at. Blue Velvet, Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive are great too.
----
"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
Loading...
25.07.2022 - 19:39
Rating: 9
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by Alakazam on 24.07.2022 at 13:27

Absolutely on point. Twin Peaks and most of Lynch is way too long for its own good, which harpers upon replayability value.

In fact, despite its pretty art, Alphaville kept getting worse repeatedly upon spinning so I'm guessing this will be more of the same.

I can see your point about his movies being too long for their own good (particularly Inland Empire), but I think they're abstract enough to warrant a lot of replayability nonetheless. Sort of like this album. I'm enjoying this one a lot more than I did Alphaville, which I mostly listened to once or twice and then moved on. Might be that I've listened more to this one just because I'm reviewing it (I wouldn't ever review an album I've only heard once, it seems unfair), but I don't think so... time will tell.

The Gorguts namedrop is definitely relevant as they've a guesting guitarist on this album. I haven't figured out on which track, though Though I have to admit, the most exciting thing about this album is trying to imagine where they'll be going next. Like I said, I don't think they've reached their full potential yet...
----
"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
Loading...
25.07.2022 - 19:44
Rating: 9
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by terroriser on 23.07.2022 at 11:04

For me it's absolutely rubbish. Its like modern classical music with guitars and drums. Zero music, pure noise

Giving it a 1 out of 10 seems harsh, no matter how much you dislike it. No matter how wrong you are, you're right in that it is "modern classical music with guitars and drums" (more like jazz, to be honest), though I fail to see how that's supposed to be a negative thing.
----
"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
Loading...
25.07.2022 - 23:42
Rating: 1
terroriser

Written by Netzach on 25.07.2022 at 19:44

Written by terroriser on 23.07.2022 at 11:04

For me it's absolutely rubbish. Its like modern classical music with guitars and drums. Zero music, pure noise

Giving it a 1 out of 10 seems harsh, no matter how much you dislike it. No matter how wrong you are, you're right in that it is "modern classical music with guitars and drums" (more like jazz, to be honest), though I fail to see how that's supposed to be a negative thing.


At 50 I'd like to think that I am entitled to harsh judgement. You guys my sing prises and cultivate verbal masturbation over this album. I really wish I could find some jazz within their music. My head hurts after 1.5 tracks and that tells me everything I need to know.

No, there is nothing wrong with me.

Yes this album is not music, it's noise only slightly more pleasant than pneumatic hammer pulverising tarmac.
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26.07.2022 - 02:40
A Real Monkey

Written by Aries Rising on 24.07.2022 at 06:05

David Lynch is overrated and Fire Walk with Me is probably the best thing he's ever done.


Written by ChapuLviz on 24.07.2022 at 06:53


----
"Change the world. My final message. Goodbye."

~Last words of Harambe, seconds before he was shot, according to child he shielded from gunfire
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26.07.2022 - 14:19
Alakazam
all eyez on me
Quote:
Written by Netzach on 25.07.2022 at 19:39


I can see your point about his movies being too long for their own good (particularly Inland Empire), but I think they're abstract enough to warrant a lot of replayability nonetheless. Sort of like this album. I'm enjoying this one a lot more than I did Alphaville, which I mostly listened to once or twice and then moved on. Might be that I've listened more to this one just because I'm reviewing it (I wouldn't ever review an album I've only heard once, it seems unfair), but I don't think so... time will tell.

The Gorguts namedrop is definitely relevant as they've a guesting guitarist on this album. I haven't figured out on which track, though Though I have to admit, the most exciting thing about this album is trying to imagine where they'll be going next. Like I said, I don't think they've reached their full potential yet...


Sure there are moments of interest in Lynch to be like a trip to revisit, but it comes at such of a cost of length that it becomes a chore, a dilution of the plot into full abstraction. It becomes what I found to happen with Twin Peaks whereas Fire Walk With Me is the opposite side of having plot control within the Lynch spectrum of abstraction to a straight line, hitting all the areas. Unironically Mulholland Dr is in the middle of that spectrum and also the other one of the hardest two hitting that I thought was best. Still need to see Lost Highway which is my point, that anxiety for caring. Definitely appreciated Inland Empire more when I didn't give a fuck about caring but I'm pretty much done with it after round 2. It's impossible to take time out to watch a film past a certain length without having it on double speed as there's only so much time to fulfill.

As for this album, two listens in and found it underwhelming again. Besides Deathspell Omega I've not heard anything of quality metal come from this year.
----
I may not have the largest collection but I certainly have the absolute best

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27.07.2022 - 14:07
Rating: 9
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by terroriser on 25.07.2022 at 23:42


At 50 I'd like to think that I am entitled to harsh judgement. You guys my sing prises and cultivate verbal masturbation over this album. I really wish I could find some jazz within their music. My head hurts after 1.5 tracks and that tells me everything I need to know.

No, there is nothing wrong with me.

Yes this album is not music, it's noise only slightly more pleasant than pneumatic hammer pulverising tarmac.

It's all good, I didn't imply there's anything wrong with you. I don't put much value into ratings, they're more of an afterthought. You're of course as entitled to give harsh criticism as I am to "cultivate verbal masturbation"... I assume that was meant as criticism of the review, but it sort of sums up what I was aiming for, I often find tone of writing conveys the mood of an album better than trying to straight up describe it in words.

Indeed it might be accused of not being music, but that's sort of the point, it makes you re-evaluate ideas taken for granted, and see how everyone has a different answer to "what is music?"

Yeah it's not very jazzy as such, but there's a sort of "extreme Zappa metal" thing going on.

Written by Alakazam on 26.07.2022 at 14:19

Sure there are moments of interest in Lynch to be like a trip to revisit, but it comes at such of a cost of length that it becomes a chore, a dilution of the plot into full abstraction.

As for this album, two listens in and found it underwhelming again. Besides Deathspell Omega I've not heard anything of quality metal come from this year.

I don't really think in terms of plot with films like Inland Empire, I mostly just enjoy the atmosphere and the ideas it creates in my mind... I don't really enjoy watching movies at all most of the time (I have a few favourites and that's about it) so I'm probably the wrong person to talk film with, in general. Mulholland Drive doesn't do a lot for me, honestly.

Latest Deathspell Omega was cool, still listening to it now and then. It's definitely different from what I expected from that band, mellow and easy listening, not as original or unique as their previous albums maybe but that's not necessarily a bad thing... Excited to see where they'll go next!
----
"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
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27.07.2022 - 14:37
gavdann

I put myself through the agony of trying to listen to their last album. I'm not going through all that again.
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27.07.2022 - 15:41
Rating: 9
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by gavdann on 27.07.2022 at 14:37

I put myself through the agony of trying to listen to their last album. I'm not going through all that again.

Coward.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
Loading...
27.07.2022 - 16:20
Rating: 9
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by gavdann on 27.07.2022 at 14:37

I put myself through the agony of trying to listen to their last album. I'm not going through all that again.

No worries about hearing Alphaville again here, this one's more or less a whole new flavour of migraine. Um, that sounded more motivating in my mind..
----
"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
Loading...
27.07.2022 - 19:51
Alakazam
all eyez on me
Written by Netzach on 27.07.2022 at 14:07

Latest Deathspell Omega was cool, still listening to it now and then. It's definitely different from what I expected from that band, mellow and easy listening, not as original or unique as their previous albums maybe but that's not necessarily a bad thing... Excited to see where they'll go next!


Most welcoming and unique work since Paracletus, a phrase that I wish will remain with them forever.
----
I may not have the largest collection but I certainly have the absolute best

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27.07.2022 - 23:30
Rating: 9
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by Alakazam on 27.07.2022 at 19:51


Most welcoming and unique work since Paracletus, a phrase that I wish will remain with them forever.

On this point, we are in full agreement
----
"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
Loading...
28.07.2022 - 22:38
gavdann

Written by RaduP on 27.07.2022 at 15:41

Written by gavdann on 27.07.2022 at 14:37

I put myself through the agony of trying to listen to their last album. I'm not going through all that again.

Coward.

Damn straight.
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29.07.2022 - 02:36
Rating: 7
Karlabos
Meat and Potatos
Written by terroriser on 23.07.2022 at 11:04

ts like modern classical music with guitars and drums. Zero music, pure noise

I love how one of the description sentences is the opposite of the other
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Rose is red, violet is blue. Flag is win, Baba is you.
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29.07.2022 - 02:37
Rating: 7
Karlabos
Meat and Potatos
Btw.... What is this review?

Anyway... Good album
----
Rose is red, violet is blue. Flag is win, Baba is you.
Loading...
29.07.2022 - 08:45
Rating: 9
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by Karlabos on 29.07.2022 at 02:37

Btw.... What is this review?

Anyway... Good album

What is this album?
----
"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
Loading...

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