Imperial Triumphant - Vile Luxury review




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7.17
Band: Imperial Triumphant
Album: Vile Luxury
Release date: July 2018


01. Swarming Opulence
02. Lower World
03. Gotham Luxe
04. Chernobyl Blues
05. Cosmopolis
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 Echús, 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 Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments

Comments: 5   Visited by: 78 users
10.08.2018 - 20:57
Lord Slothrop
This is a really difficult album to listen to at times, but it's one of my top ten of the year. Maybe top 5.
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10.08.2018 - 21:59
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Lord Slothrop on 10.08.2018 at 20:57

This is a really difficult album to listen to at times, but it's one of my top ten of the year. Maybe top 5.

Indeed, rare example for me of music being incredibly complex and layered but still packing a ton of emotion and gravity to it as well without just becoming mechanical and lifeless
----
This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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11.08.2018 - 11:14
LuciferOfGayness
GolemOfWaffles
I think its ok to use a term as "deconstructive metal" here, but I am curious to here your definition of what that means in metal and music? Its quite clear what Derrida meant in relation to writing but I havent figured out what it would mean if its translated to music. To me the deconstructive bit, if there is any, is the most enjoyable thing on this album but I would probably enjoy it more if I could put it down to words what that means on this album.

So, imo you should have dvelved more in to the deconstructive sound on this album, what that sounds like and what it is that is being decostructed. It probably is that which makes this album avantgarde, not that it sounds like other avantgarde albums. Its an easy road to claim a band is avantgarde just because they sound like other avantgarde bands:
"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."

I havent decided yet if I like this album - its obviously a very good album but its a bit lifeless for me so far... but imo its up to the listener to breath life in to an album. Theres probably life in there somewhere which I havent found, connected to yet.

Really nicely written review on a difficult album
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11.08.2018 - 15:02
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by LuciferOfGayness on 11.08.2018 at 11:14

I think its ok to use a term as "deconstructive metal" here, but I am curious to here your definition of what that means in metal and music? Its quite clear what Derrida meant in relation to writing but I havent figured out what it would mean if its translated to music. To me the deconstructive bit, if there is any, is the most enjoyable thing on this album but I would probably enjoy it more if I could put it down to words what that means on this album.

Pretty self explanatory I would think, just meaning that it really shreds apart and unravels common genre conventionalism. It peels back those similarities between genres seemingly completely unrelated to each other and exploits them to show that artistic rigidity is silly and there are always more lines connecting these different forms of expression than one may at first be tempted to think.
----
This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
Loading...
16.08.2018 - 11:15
LuciferOfGayness
GolemOfWaffles
Written by Apothecary on 11.08.2018 at 15:02

Written by LuciferOfGayness on 11.08.2018 at 11:14

I think its ok to use a term as "deconstructive metal" here, but I am curious to here your definition of what that means in metal and music? Its quite clear what Derrida meant in relation to writing but I havent figured out what it would mean if its translated to music. To me the deconstructive bit, if there is any, is the most enjoyable thing on this album but I would probably enjoy it more if I could put it down to words what that means on this album.

Pretty self explanatory I would think, just meaning that it really shreds apart and unravels common genre conventionalism. It peels back those similarities between genres seemingly completely unrelated to each other and exploits them to show that artistic rigidity is silly and there are always more lines connecting these different forms of expression than one may at first be tempted to think.

I dont mind the usage of the concept as I almost get what you mean
1. It was philosophy, a way of life.
2. It became a model of understanding texts and specially destabilizing the old canon.
3.Now a word used in daily speech, which is a bit watered-down.
I would have scrapped "deconstructive" here as this album is simply a blend of different genres - modernism. But its great that these concepts are beginning to sneak in here.
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