Review Summary: "Abyssal Gods" is the first 'must hear' metal record of the year; a true masterpiece that is brilliant concoction of old and new.
"From Palaces of the Hive" erupts with absolutely no fanfare. There is no gentle intro nor carefully plotted beginning. It's unexpected and immediate; a veritable hell unleashed that razes the path from the very start. Really, though, there is no better way to be introduced to Imperial Triumphant.
You'd be forgiven for immediately pointing out the commonalities between Imperial Triumphant and a bevy of other acts. After all, the band does not hide its terrific pedigree which most prominently features Deathspell Omega and Gorguts. The groove laden passages of the latter melt into a sublime blend of murky production and fiery aesthetics, making the band's latest, Abyssal Gods
a dark and gratifying black metal record. In fact, no other album this year has quite captured the immediacy and precision of what's found here. The New York natives have crafted that special blend of homage and originality, playing of the strengths of some of the best in the game whilst still throwing in enough flair to allow listeners to experience something new.
is an absolute behemoth of modern blackened death metal. It's dark without sounding overtly occult or unsettling, but rather, features a suffocating atmosphere that envelopes the entire affair. Bits of "gothic" beauty stagger the more obtuse tracks, with haunting choruses and subtle strings adding just a little extra throughout. Tracks such as "Dead Heaven" and "Twins" are true standouts, albeit showing off a little more dramatics through experimental passages and explosive interludes. But in the albums more introverted moments you'll find the true brilliance. The restrained "doom" influences that are featured in "Krokodil" and "Black Psychedelia" come together beautifully, giving the album just a little more added dimension. Of course, the title track and closer give the album more than enough flavor as they attempt to convey a sense of avant-garde a la Deathspell Omega. These two selections do not really do quite as much, instead just standing out as, well, different compared to the rest of the album. Still, they're well done enough that you won't be left wanting.
Imperial Triumphant have created a landmark album with Abyssal Gods
. A blackened death masterpiece, the album is a near perfect concoction of what is old, new, and hopefully what is to come. No other band this year has been close to building such a pristine and vibrant package as Imperial Triumphant, and it should definitely not be missed.