Album Review: Cipher- Imperialist

The concept of space and everything that encompasses the great vast unknown world is a hefty subject. When these aspects are paired alongside some Black Metal it’s a match, because it can be pretty dark out in the cosmos. There are plenty of bands out there using this subject as the core of their lyrical content and it definitely brings something unconventional and fresh into the picture. Lets face it, the cold and grim frostbitten forests have been churned out enough times that a fresh perspective is always welcome. That is what makes California’s own Imperialist so exciting and their upcoming album Cipher is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat.

If you are not familiar with Imperialist Cipher will be their debut full length album and with just an EP under their belts this release serves as a giant leap for the band musically. At the core they are a Black Metal band but underneath it all you will find plenty of melodic elements. They have taken bits and pieces from various artists and made it their own. From Emperor to Necrophobic, the the trials and tribulations nestled within the crevices ring gigantic in sound and vigor.

The vocals cut through each song with fiery intensity, guitars are melodic and filled with tasty harmonies that are super infectious, and the Bass and Drums add a sonic pounding beat… Just try not to headbang your way into a black hole.

You have tracks that stick to that familiar classic Black Metal sound, that I have no doubt will give you that age old tingly feeling when your ears are graced with something special and memorable. Songs like Advent Anathema and Mercurian Dusk to just name a few. The thing that strikes gold with this album however is the diversity and is most definitely not a repetitive slog where you can’t tell the difference from one song to the next. There are longer tracks such as Umbra Tempest and The Dark Below (Crota’s End) that are filled with emotion and adventure with slow passages that possess tangible essence.

It has been a pleasure watching these fine gents grow and Cipher no doubt will propel them into further success and well deserved recognition. I have been following them for quite sometime and have seen them live on more than one occasion and they do not disappoint. I would also be remiss in not mentioning another TMW favorite here Kakophonix of Hvile I Kaos who contributed his amazing Cello work. All in all Imperialist have written quite an exceptional album and one I am sure will not easily be forgotten.

Rating: 4.5/5

Cipher will be released on October 20th via Transcending Obscurity Records.

Preorder Here

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