Genre Genesis // Imperial Triumphant – “Rotted Futures”

Genre Genesis is our monthly column dedicated to the hardworking and endlessly patient partners of Heavy Blog editors and writers, who are, shall we say, not nearly as invested in heavier music as we tend to be. We offer them a track from an artist we’re currently enjoying and ask them for both their reactions and to take their best guess at what “genre” of heavy music it falls into. It’s all in good fun and a necessary reminder to not take ourselves too seriously.

Welcome back to Heavy Blog’s not-so-secret favorite column (and not just because no Heavy Blog writers have to actually do anything for it)! After our last edition found the Heavy partners getting spacey and proggy with Elder‘s latest opus, we had to go back to more of our bread and butter of this column. Of the many big extreme metal albums to drop this year, few have been as heavily-anticipated as New York’s avant-death trio Imperial Triumphant‘s Alphaville. The staff and our readers may love the band’s gonzo mixture of blackened death metal, avant-garde jazz, and general anti-capitalist/leftist politics, but the real question is what will our panel of esteemed critics think? And what will they even call it?

Also, once again we are sadly missing the voices of Ronnie and Kinsy because they are still off being general badasses and bosses and are still too consumed with those activities to participate. But Lauren, Meggie, and Sarah are all back! So all is well.

Lauren

The song opens with what sounds like an instrument trying its hardest to sound like a fly buzzing in your ear. This slowly becomes a swarm of flies that gets bigger and bigger until what I consider to be the “official” start of the song (nearly two minutes later). Usually when I am disliking a metal song I look to lyrics for any redeeming qualities, but I have to say they were not helpful in swaying my opinion. “Caveman-esque” and “evil three year old” come to mind as they feel choppy and incoherent, yet obviously very upset with some higher power. Finally, “Rotted Futures” ends with an unnecessarily long chord hold that just left me more confused than relieved that the song was over (Imperial Triumphant loves an extended note, don’t they?).

I know I’ve been harsh with my criticism so far, but I did like one thing! The title of the song seems pretty on the nose for the current environment (am I right COVID? Police brutality? Any decision President Trump and his administration make?). My distaste for this track is definitely in line with how I feel about the current state of literally everything. (I’m sorry, Imperial Triumphant, it’s not you it’s me – I’m projecting).

Genre: Paleolithic core

Meggie

The sun is shining, I have a nice hot coffee in one hand, a view of the falling autumnal leaves from my desk, mentally preparing for a day of work. I have woken up early to review this song and think, great way to start the day, ticking something off your list immediately!

As I sit here and listen to the introduction, I am feeling okay about the whole process. Not my style, as I feel like it could be the soundtrack of a horror movie, specifically the part leading up to a zombie jumping out or someone about to run away from a murderer, but its okay! Then I look down at the video clip and I realise I am probably in trouble. A devil foetus growing into a devil skeleton child is a stark comparison to my inner city, morning glow view.

All the growling, which I am assuming is coming from the armless baby dolls in the video clip, makes zero sense to me. I legitimately cannot understand it. It could be a love poem, it could be an angry email someone sent to their boss, it could be the eulogy someone prepared for their grandmother’s funeral, I do not know.

I do not mind, even slightly like, the instrumental side. The drums especially are great, I can appreciate the skills and think they suit the song. The chorus of people sighing melodically is an unusual mix, but so is a floating Jesus halfway through the video, so…

The guitars are fabulous. I get an early 2000’s vibe, which is a compliment I promise. I think generally I would probably really enjoy this song, minus the vocals, which I do understand is a key part to the song for people who like this genre. The song ends on one long chord of organ, which upsets me, because if you have gone to the effort to get an organ, why not use it throughout? Although, knowing my untrained ear, it was probably there the whole time.

Overall, not horrible. Remove the singing (can you call it that?) and I would probably listen to it again.

Genre: Punk Black Metal

Sarah

Nick kindly provided us with a music video this week!  Between the shaky cam, creepy dolls, and light body horror it just reminds me of what I watch when Nick is out at band practice.  Unlike my terrible horror movies this didn’t have a predictable twist, just growling like the demonically possessed.  Everytime I think I get one of these songs, these guys throw us a curveball.

I can’t get off the music video.  It’s like the kitchen sink of videos – they google imaged creepy stuff and threw it all in with some filters.  Maybe for a song called “Rotted Futures” the guys of Imperial Triumphant can just attend a Trump rally and shoot some footage there.  

I don’t mind the guitar lines, but they’re so repetitive I was a little bored by minute two or three, much less five.  I do like looking at the lyrics when I can’t understand them just by listening, and  I’m actually on board with them.  If only I could understand them in the song!

Genre: C-List Horror Movie Metal

Comments

"We're all fools, all the time. It's just we're a different kind each day. We think, I'm not a fool today. I've learned my lesson. I was a fool yesterday but not this morning. Then tomorrow we find out that, yes, we were a fool today too. I think the only way we can grow and get on in this world is to accept the fact we're not perfect and live accordingly." - Ray Bradbury