Released: June, Code666 Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
When starting a review, I always have a check on the relevant Bandcamp or Facebook pages first to see if I can find a quote from the band’s collective mouth or from a music publication about their sound. Not all of these quotes are entirely true, however the one I found by MetalBandcamp for New York’s Imperial Triumphant hits the nail on the head: “A dizzying blackened death metal freefall without a foothold in sanity”.
Shrine to the Trident Throne is a combination of the band’s Abominamentvm album and Goliath EP. Ideal for those who don’t have the inclination to track down and buy the former releases separately, it conveniently allows the listener to sit through two of the band’s most popular records in one go and it has to be said that it all fits together nicely. The pessimist in me would say that this is just a publicity drive to try get the relatively unknown Imperial Triumphant thrust into the eye of the underground, but this is of course only speculation.
“Hierophant” starts with an equally funky and eerie bassline. Not quite the black metal I was expecting as a newcomer to the band; there are lashings of trudging doom and something inherently avant-garde about it. Second track “Manifesto” contains sharp, erratic guitar work reminding me a bit of Sigh’s latest album In Somniphobia. Of course, comparing the band to one of the masters of avant-garde BM furthers the comparison.
Like reverb? Good, because Imperial Triumphant sure do. This release is rife with resonating guitar and echoing sound effects making the whole thing sound like a corpse-painted acid trip. This record also brings the sense of second-wave black metal familiarity that we’re all accustomed to. The amount of which varies per song but listening to Shrine to the Trident Throne in full makes it apparent that the band have got the tried and tested formula down.
Most of the songs are relatively short, with most only needing a few minutes to get their point across (such as “S.P.Q.R”) but interludes “Credo in Nihil” and “Scaphism” just seem like added filler. Final two tracks “Sodom” and “Gomorrah” are 7 minutes and 6:17 respectively so offer more in the way of length without compromising on substance, and are a perfectly violent way to end the album.
Honestly, I can’t see anything blindingly wrong with this. It’s your standard black metal with a stimulating twist and definitely worth a listen. Without the avant-garde edge this would be quite dull but as long as these fresh and compelling ideas keep coming from the band, I look forward to listening to what they produce next.
Review by Beth Avison