Imperial Triumphant

Many metal groups come across as watered-down versions of their idols, content to play within the boundaries others have set, while the innovative bands are far and few. Imperial Triumphant is that, a futurist-themed deconstruction of black metal — blasphemous, yet steeped in unorthodox ideas. Abominamentvm is the product of formally trained musicians composing music far more technical and intricate than most. Bass guitar is virtually inaudible in this variety of music, but here it’s loud and used to build the already grim atmosphere. It also works as a strong counterpoint to the guitar playing, which covers terrain from syncopated drone grooves to terrifying tremolo picking. The crystal-clear production perfectly captures the complexity, though it puts them at odds with their lo-fi peers. Hearing this is analogous to the first time you heard Slayer: filthy, yet magnificent.