Imperial Triumphant – Inceste (Redefining Darkness Records)

Sunday, 3rd April 2016
Rating: 9/10

One band that continues to grow in strange and eerie ways is that of New York’s Imperial Triumphant. Last year’s Abyssal Gods was a masterpiece of bizarre and nightmare-inducing dissonant black metal. Inceste continues that trend, but in no way do they go in a predictable or formulaic route. This is full of unexpected twists and turns and flat-out creepiness.

With only 21-minutes to bask in this one, Inceste makes the most of its runtime. Picking up in the same strange and downright creepy waters that Abyssal Gods reveled in, Imperial Triumphant somehow managed to find a way to sound even more disturbing. This is an important strength to the band’s sound. In addition to the Gorguts-esque riffing, Deathspell Omega-dissonance, and atypical song structures, the eerie sounds (like the intro that is “Libertine” or choir in “Breath of Innocence”) take it one step further into claustrophobic bleakness. The band sounds ready to go off the rails at any given moment, yet there’s still something awe-inspiring about it. Whether it’s the explosive drumming and utterly frantic riffs of “Kaleidoscopic Orgies” or the fevered screams and cacophony of voices that close out “Breath of Innocence,” there’s something unique that will continue to drive you back despite how unsetting and uncomfortable the EP will leave you at its finale. It’s so meticulously layered and dense, it may take a few listens to really soak it in, but the short time span will ensure you find the time to do so.

As Inceste being the band’s interpretation of the works of Marquis de Sade, it seems there has never been a band more fit to tackle the subject. At times downright terrifying (which is no easy feat these days) and other points equally sadistic, Imperial Triumphant bring you into a gripping vision of madness in a way that no other band is really attempting. It’s something that needs not to be listened to, but experienced.

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