"Vile Luxury"

By Dr. Abner Mality

This is about the nuttiest, noisiest shit you're gonna hear in 2018 in ANY form of music. If Imperial Triumphant has a virtue, it is sheer over the top cacophony. And also the fact that there is really nothing else out there like this. But that doesn't make it pleasant to listen to and by the time "Vile Luxury" wrapped up, I was overjoyed it was done.

The record is inspired by the rottenness lurking in the heart of the Big Apple, New York. If the sound of "Vile Luxury" is what Imperial Triumphant thinks of their home city, they must hate it with a passion. That is fair enough. There actually is a kind of odd "big city" feeling to the noisy miasma here that pops up at strange times, like the strident horns that start the record. I've seen this music described as black metal, which is nowhere near what they actually do. Free jazz freakouts seem to form the core of the band's music and also a delight in the most dissonant forms of avant-garde music like musique concrete. Yes, there is metal here and pretty brutal it is, too. There is a superficial resemblance to black metal,but it comes across as roaring chaos with spectral growls and lung-busting female growls from guest singer Yoshiko from Bloody Panda (THERE'S a name I haven't heard in a while!) This thing can break down into twangy guitar noise, unsettling piano and something that sounds a lot like Miles Davis on the worst acid trip of his life. Imagine John Zorn, Child Bite, Bloody Panda and the most extreme wings of death and black metal all colliding head on.

At first, it had a perverse fascination for me, but this gets more and more into free jazz and pure noise territory the longer it lasts. I just can't cope. "Mother Machine" is where it crosses the line into pretentiousness and "The Filth" is unlistenable. I know it is supposed to convey the horror of life in a giant metropolis, but there is such a thing as succeeding too well. By the end of the ride, I wanted to run away and put myself into a washing machine just to escape. Too much for me.

But it is utterly original. If you like music that is just as strange as it is extreme, then perhaps you are up to the Imperial Triumphant challenge.