Imperial Triumphant – Spirit Of Ecstasy

Posted: 15 July 2022 in Albums
Tags: , , , , ,

Century Media – 22nd July 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

New York’s enigmatic Imperial Triumphant are described as ‘avant-garde metal’. They’re certainly that. I mean, they’re overtly metal, with guttural, growling vocals, barrelling riffs, thunderous drums and booming bass – but Spirit of Ecstasy is a brain-lowling, bewildering affair that lumbers, lurches, and leaps between other genres within those solid metal parameters.

The tracks are all past the six-minute mark, and pack in a lot of action and a lot of range, to the extent that six minutes in, it’ll feel like the first three minutes were another song entirely. At least, that’s my experience – of an album that’s so expansive and diverse that it completely takes over. You stop following, and find yourself simply being transported on a journey with no clear trajectory, thrown this way and that, tossed about as if by turbulence, or something more.

Following the blistering percussive battering and jolting, sliding sonic deluge of the album’s opener, ‘Chump Change’, ‘Metrovertigo’ is exemplary: it slides into angular industrial discord, and there’s a lot going on – mostly jazz-leaning, but then there’s the megalithic bombast of the song’s climax which is more neoclassical, and ‘Tower of Glory, City of Shame’ also incorporates bold neoclassical elements along with samples and jarring, skewed guitar along with the demonic snarling.

When they go all-out on the riffage, the density is eye-popping, rib-cracking, skull-crushing. When they go the other way, into orchestral territories, as in during the into on ‘Merkurius Gilded’, it’s sweet, sublime. Of course, those delicate segments are obliterated in the blink of an eye in swathes of immolating black metal. And then, there’s the all-out experimental jazz / noise no-wave racket of ‘In the Pleasure of their Company’ that really does drill And lurch, showcasing the duo’s capacity to explore different sound and textures.

It’s not exactly technical in its musicality – although there’s no shortage of technical ability on display here – but compositionally, Spirit Of Ecstasy is something else. Each song condenses so many ideas, so many segments into a single piece that it’s utterly bewildering at times.

The most remarkable achievement is that it doesn’t sound forced or false or corny, when by rights, none of this should work and it should be awful. But it isn’t. It is, however, intense, and draining so. You’re tossed this way and that, samples crackle in the distance, and quiet passages are disrupted by detonating drums and squalls of noise.

Everything spews from the satanic caverns of hell, and leaves you feeling worn out, battered, beaten. And buzzing.



  1. […] Experimental metal group Imperial Triumphant release a visualiser video for the track, ‘Metrovertigo’ which appears on their newest album Spirit Of Ecstasy, which we recently reviewed. […]

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