Imminent Sonic Destruction – Triumphia (Luxor Records)

Tuesday, 4th October 2016
Rating: 7.5/10

A Motor City act that straddles a progressive metal with rock stance, Imminent Sonic Destruction lands with their second full-length Triumphia. Fortunate to grab some prime tour slots in North America over the past few years with Pain of Salvation, Fates Warning, and most recently Circus Maximus as this album hit the streets, the quintet chooses to embrace a full-concept album, the male character (The Distance), his female love (Triumphia) and the villain keeping them apart (The Fog) as the story plays out over 7 tracks and nearly 70 minutes of songs. Certainly rings true to a lot of Shakespearean tragedies, doesn’t it?

ISD prefer to elaborate ideas natural to this genre in extended instrumental sections – almost to the point of tediousness. Case in point out of the gate would be the 11:27 opener “The Crashing Waves”, as the first vocal from guitarist Tony Piccoli doesn’t take place until the 6:16 mark while we hear radio waves, a repetitive piano refrain, and a fairly prolonged lead guitar break plus standard time signature juggling to set up the scenery. Patience remains a virtue, and as such the darker, lower tuned chug of “Sleepless” stands out in a Threshold gone Sevendust manner, the arrangement fluctuating between calmer, spacious vibes and penetrating heaviness. Tony as a singer may not be in the elite Alder/Arch/Tate brigade, but his serene, comforting nature aids the cause for a distinct advantage at times – “Lake of Fire” probably a signature track to discover his heartfelt emotion behind the words.

The record closes with the longest track “Arborous Calm”. Nearly hitting 23 minutes, the arrangement once again showcases all facets to the Imminent Sonic Destruction outlook – acoustic guitars to start that reach early Led Zeppelin textures, explosive electric sections that rival the best of Dream Theater and Symphony X material, plus even doom and extreme metal textures that would send shivers into Candlemass or Dimmu Borgir followers. Technicality takes a back seat to setting up proper hooks, riffs, and commonality part to part – but rest assured there are plenty of ‘wow’ moments in the guitar/keyboard/bass/drum interplay that elevate the headspace and contain loads of aural excitement.

You have to be in the right mindset to take on Triumphia regularly – which could be a minor downfall to gaining proper appreciation. Occasional condensing of ideas could be a blessing in the long run, but overall there’s a reason why Imminent Sonic Destruction is gaining ground in the progressive metal/rock community… they have the talent and chops to go places.

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