The sound of New York’s Imperial Triumphant is all at once disorienting, terrifying, and wholly unique. The band deconstruct the elements that make up black and death metal and reassemble them into unconventional, outré shapes that boggle the mind and disturb the psyche. The band pull from not just the extreme metal spectrum, but other areas of music as well, whose elements are then incorporated in bizarre and exciting ways. One of these areas of music is obviously jazz. The band have been incorporating jazz into their works for quite some time, but is much more prominent in their forthcoming album, Vile Luxury (due out July 13 via Gilead Media/Throatruiner).
For this special piece, we thought it would be interesting to see what jazz artists or recordings influence Imperial Triumphant‘s sound and themselves as musicians. Check out what each band member had to say after the break.
Zachary Ilya Ezrin (guitar/vocals): To all jazz manouche guitarists, he’s considered the best and yet he certainly wasn’t the fastest or most technical. It is less about how many notes he played and more about how he played them. The tastefulness and the nuance. As the guitarist of Imperial Triumphant, this concept resonates with me so deeply. I spend most of my composition time thinking about how my riff is played and why I’m playing it more than the what am I playing.
John Coltrane– “Crescent”
Kenny Grohowski (drums): A vitally-important captured moment of recorded music, this album encapsulates an enigmatic journey for Coltrane and each and every member of his group: McCoy Tyner, Reggie Workman, and Elvin Jones. This record is a blueprint of how modern music should work within the context of reality and how one can choose to express such.
Miles Davis– “Nefertiti”
Kenny: This album, despite it’s importance to the world of current/modern music, has become a sort of lullaby for IT. We often times listen to this record a the end of the night while touring and it’s affects on the band as a whole can be heard throughout ‘Vile Luxury’.
Duke Ellington– “Money Jungle”
Kenny: Expertly demonstrates what can happen with a willingness to engage with discomfort and nuance. Duke and Max Roach at their finest. Mingus as a wrangler. They understood Heavy is not just a feeling, not just one, singular paradigm. This album is a teacher.
Tony Williams Lifetime– “Believe It”
Kenny: As a child, this record is a personal favorite for dad and I, and often we would listen to it while driving down US-1 or the 836/826, amongst many other great Fusion records of the 70’s, and the same could be said of Steve in a not-so-distant parallel. This record has had a huge influence on the Imperial rhythm section and, as is the case with many of these albums, are music that we realized while touring together that we absolutely love. The proof is in the pudding, as it were.
Bill Evans – “Explorations”
Steve Blanco (bass/vocals): This album moved me to the point of no return, in the universal sense. Harmonically rich, rhythmically unique (at that time esp.), and singular in sonic scope, its expression lies deep within the subtle world of nuance and exquisite taste. Incredible interaction between Bill, Paul, and Scott, as a rhythm section. Simply, a great band making great music…