If you even pay a little bit of attention to the vast and ever-expanding world of metal, eccentricity is not a rare thing that people have to actively seek out anymore. We’re constantly seeing bands of all sorts, new and old, big and small, experienced or fumbling, trying to create something that hasn’t been heard before in some capacity. And it’s been a resounding success if you ask me! We’ve been absolutely spoiled by bands like Inter Arma, Whispered, Enslaved, and YOB just being a mere handful of hundreds that we could name. But to see a band truly push the envelope in an extremely compelling fashion that keeps you guessing as to what’s coming next, how the band could ever go forward from such an unbelievable spot, or make something work that shouldn’t ordinarily work without a struggle is something that we don’t get all that common. In every single possible way, that’s just the tip of what Imperial Triumphant brings forth within the mind-bending confines of “Alphaville”.
When I say that “Alphaville” pushes the envelope, I don’t mean they do it conservatively and only implement a few small things here and there so they don’t lose the listener. It’s as if Imperial Triumphant is trying to intimidate the listener with such a bizarre blend of technical death metal and whatever the f*ck else comes into their heads that make for a truly unique experience like no other album out there. There’s no easy entrance, easing into the madness, or even making the innovation appealing with nice riffs, interesting cascades, or a few things that grab your attention before reverting to something more recognizable. They clearly take delight in throwing you into this chaos only to watch you scramble as the grand creation that is “Alphaville” burrows deeper into your skull to where, by the end, you’re in between this weird middle ground between terrified and bewildered. Somehow, I’m okay with both.
This is absolutely one of those albums that would be downright criminal to only give it one spin. Even two likely isn’t enough to really unpack what all is happening within “Alphaville” simply because there’s so f*cking much to take in! Even just the first track of this album has so much going on, so just trying to encapsulate the other six original songs, most of which stretch way beyond six minutes each, is a hard to concept to wrap your mind around, so the best way to understand such a crazy idea is to just throw yourself into the fire without any hesitation. Imperial Triumphant is constantly bombarding us with different elements that truly come from all sources: drawn-out organs, tribal-like drumming patterns, vocals that range all over the place, crazy tech-death works that flow into something that I just cannot find the words to describe, catchy bits that immediately fall to something that can only be termed as an assault of the aural senses, and so much more! It really does feel like no stone of any kind was left unturned in the creation of “Alphaville” to where you can’t help but use the word unique when describing what Imperial Triumphant has done here for it encapsulates everything perfectly from the immensely aggressive to the larger than life otherworldly techniques that we’re constantly exposed to. It’s such a hard thing just for me to talk about even after listening to it for hours, and even though I still can’t land on how to describe “Alphaville” in words I can easily say that I haven’t nearly had enough of the madness yet.
Just to listen to this album is to cast yourself into a rare kind of madness that we simply don’t get a lot, and if you survive the raging storm of confusing madness that is “Alphaville” then you can definitively say that you’ve experienced something beyond unique. I’ve been seeing plenty of people say stuff about Imperial Triumphant since the announcement of this album, and I can’t express enough how there isn’t nearly enough hype for this marvelously devilish creation that’s just as menacing as it is rewarding in every single second. There isn’t a song that’s to be skipped nor a fresh bit that’s to be called unoriginal or boring in any capacity. In simple terms for an album that’s anything but simple, “Alphaville” is definitely something that needs to be heard in order to be believed.
“Alphaville” releases on July 31st via Century Media Records! You can pre-order “Alphaville” from multiple sources here, and stream the single, “Rotted Futures”, via YouTube below.
1. Rotted Futures
3. City Swine
4. Atomic Age
5. Transmission to Mercury
7. The Greater Good
8. Experiment (Voivod cover)
9. Happy Home (The Residents cover)