Album Review: Imperial Triumphant – Alphaville (Century Media Records)

Avant-garde metal band, Imperial Triumphant are setting the sails for their upcoming album “Alphaville” which will be released on July 31st via Century Media Records. The trio describes the record as follows:

Alphaville is a record designed to be slowly and sensationally unfurled by the listener. It is a very dense and challenging environment we place you in. However, every track, transition, every word and note has been scrutinized over to ensure the most rewarding experience. The auditory journey is ready for you, just press play.

Try and sum up Alphaville in one word…it’s just not possible. It’s such an eclectic amalgamation of styles that at best you can go with ‘madness’. However, even that is just scratching the surface of what Imperial Triumphant have achieved here. Nine tracks, two of which are covers, that last almost an hour. This is an effort that will have some calling it nonsense while others calling it genius.

The dissonance and almost distant sound to Rotted Futures makes for an extreme opener. An orgy of weirdness and heaviness, the layers of vibrating bass and squealing guitars makes it seem akin to Devin Townsend on steroids.

The sharp organ outro will jerk most out of any malaise they were feeling ensuring they’re alert for Excelsior, although the dark guttural rumble is somewhat soothing. If you needed any more convincing that this was one of 2020’s most unique musical offerings, the pair of City Swine and Atomic Age will do the job.

The former seems like it’s lacking focus. The melody is off-beat to the drums and the vocals are just doing their own thing. Until it suddenly all starts to make sense. If you’ve played a game like Deadly Premonition, this is the sort of song you could hear playing during the more extreme horror moments. The latter, a humongous slice of progressive noise that rarely makes sense across its near 9 minute run. Is it madness or genius?

That question isn’t getting any easier to answer as the soft piano intro of Transmission to Mercury rings out. Subtly at first, a trumpet joins the fray before taking the dominant position on the track before suddenly and unexpectedly, Imperial Triumphant hurtle in.

They certainly know how to keep things on edge going into the latter part of the record. Where the title track and The Greater Good ensure that an opinion will be had about this album.

There is no fence sitting. You either want to tell everyone just how clever and unique it is. Or you want to tell everyone just how wacky and stupid it is. Either way, it’s impossible to not talk about Imperial Triumphant.

Especially when they throw into a pair of covers too. First, legendary head-bangers Voivod get the cover treatment with Imperial Triumphant doing a serviceable and interesting job of Experiment. Whereas The Residents’ Happy Home is the album closer and lacks teeth. A bit more of a gummy bite than the sort of thing that rips and tears.

Bloody different though.

Imperial Triumphant – Alphaville Full Track Listing:

1. Rotted Futures
2. Excelsior
3. City Swine
4. Atomic Age
5. Transmission to Mercury
6. Alphaville
7. The Greater Good
8. Experiment (Voivod Cover)
9. Happy Home (The Residents Cover)




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Imperial Triumphant - Alphaville (Century Media Records)
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