Imperial Triumphant - Alphaville
Aug 1, 2020
90
imperial triumphant has astounded me once again.

objectively, this is their magnum opus and the best metal album that I've heard this year thus far. the production is much clearer and more detailed compared to 2018's "vile luxury," and I think the clearer production benefits this album and its artistic direction. it's a much more immediate, in-your-face, and relentless album that focuses on mind-bending song structures and endless riffs. "vile luxury" was more focused on building the atmosphere of a grimy, low-class speakeasy and long, churning buildups into explosive climaxes, and the muddier production on "vile luxury" added to their effort to create massive, sludgy landscapes. contrarily, the added detail on "alphaville" helps the listeners decipher the chaos and single out every element in the complexities of the instrumentation throughout, which I appreciate, especially on an album much more instrumentally dense and unforgiving. and oh man that bass player is going hard the whole time.

there are so many sections of this album that have stuck with me. the manic growls at the end of "alphaville" (the song) are bone-chilling. the remarkably gorgeous piano, trombone, and choir arrangements on "transmission to mercury" are exceptional, and the way they become frenzied as the song crescendos and the female vocalist wails is just. extraordinary. "the greater good" and "city swine" are both earworms. I could go on and on about my favorite parts, but I'll stop because there are so many sticky moments to discuss.

imperial triumphant didn't disappoint with this release. AT ALL. they carefully crafted their best album yet (even though I still personally love "vile luxury" and its filthy, muddied epics more) and this is honestly AOTY material for me. it can only grow on me with more listens.

a truly incredible album that really scratches my itch for more jazzy, avant-garde metal. highly recommend!

(also check out their older work, especially "vile luxury." it's extremely underrated)
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