I am always fascinated when bands in the black metal spectrum discuss sci-fi themes and fictionalized stories. To me, Imperialist are a band I have kept my eyes peeled for quite awhile after I heard their debut full-length Cipher which was a album that have met high expectations and became one of the best releases in today’s modern era of black metal. Once again, Transcending Obscurity Records have never yet cease to disappoint as they’ve been on a constant roll of releasing jaw-dropping releases and this time, Zenith by Imperialist is by far, the best, tightest, accessible and intelligently written albums I’ve heard in 2021.
Zenith is the second full-length album and rest assure, if you were to tell me that a band that sounds similar to Sacramentum, Emperor, Thulcandra, early Immortal and some traces of Vektor, Imperialist are a band that have not only made beautifully crafted and astonishing pieces of music that I heard anyone in the black metal scene do, but their style is so perfectly well done that often times I feel this is described as a soaring, ambitious and adventurous album that everyone needs to hear in 2021. From the beautiful album artwork and contents, to the outstanding lyricism themes of science fiction and outer space, Zenith is a wild journey to explore into the deepest cores of our dimensional universe and it surely is, a experience I’ll never forget. This album has progressiveness, Swedish/American black metal inspired instrumentals and established a naturalistic expression to see where their taking the music to whole new spiritual level.
Musically, it maintained the raw, comfortably crafted ambience and the atmospheric passages have been significantly increased as the progression from the album flourishes to breakthrough the creativity these musicians deliver surrounding themselves into a wild imagination. Zenith takes the most claustrophobic effectiveness while retaining a more sporadic approach specifically on the opening track takes the most claustrophobic effectiveness while retaining a more sporadic approach specifically on the opening track 01011000 and other luxurious instrumental sections on tracks such as He Who Mastered Shapes, Beyond The Celestial Veil and Parallax Descends bring out rebellious riffs, isolated drum performances, cavernous bass work and maddening vocal work adds more flair and contrast to the album’s beautiful presentation. This album also surrounds a scenery to capture the beautiful essences for black metal to combine two genres into one cinematic and engaging listening experience. Zenith is filled with wonderfully arranged musicality and incredible story-telling lyricism which is a fresh intake for extreme music and deserves your time to hear amazing sculptures of art.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Jake Butler