On September 7th, 2022, IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT, with the support of local Polish talents TRUP and CISNIENIE – hit Hype Park in Krakow as part of their Mother of Greed Tour. The show was organized by Knockout Productions.
TRUP was the first band to kick off the show. Literally translated as “corpse,” the band from Pomerania had an interesting sound, mixing noise with black metal. Consisting of three members on stage, the band started with a long guitar intro that sounded more like a dying violin than a guitar. They played total of 30-minutes in their set, packed with unsettling and jarring pieces from “Krew diabła” and “Ecce Satanas.”
CISNIENIE is a Polish experimental jazz/post-rock band. They started with a 16-minute long track, “Same Trup.” The intro was a dark and cinematic journey to a distant land, accompanied by lowkey synth-bass sound and a blue horn. As it progressed, we could hear a military type of drumming coming in and one bass note played like a metronome. Around 8 minutes in, the sound transformed, as the violin and full-on bassline kicked in, turning it from a cinematic score into PORCUPINE TREE-inspired tones. The violinist put all of their emotion and energy into the intense track, as it morphed into a face-passed masterpiece beyond post-rock. The whole set (which was two songs) felt like one long, absolutely thrilling experience.
IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT is an NYC-based avant-garde extreme metal band. They started the show with an intro, wherein each member took the stage separately, starting with Kenny Grohowski (drums), then Steve Blanco (bass, vocals, keyboards), and finally Zachary Ilya Ezrin (vocals, guitars). The lights were low, as they should be for a conceptual show. Each song merged into the next and the band’s whole style and appearance were very theatrical, which also came across in their stage movements, wearing long black robes and God-like golden masks. Their music style incorporated some avant-garde jazz infusions, which one might think wouldn’t work with death metal, but IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT truly made it unique and original. They played tracks like “Tower of Glory, City of Shame,” “Transmission to Mercury,” and “Chernobyl Blues.” At one point, Zachary took a bottle of champagne, shook it up, and sprayed the crowd, then proceeded to fill crowd members’ glasses; one lady tilted her head back as he poured the last of it into her mouth, after which he handed the empty bottle over to Steve, who then proceeded to play the bass with the empty bottle. They closed the set with an encore song, “Rotted Futures.”
Overall, the show was unusual, with each band demonstrating their vision of contemporary music mixed with extreme metal. Some of them were gems that deserve the attention of every enjoyer of experimental sounds.