Imperial Triumphant: “The masks do a lot of the work.”
“People who aren’t from or living in New York City may not understand the duality of our existence. So many think they want to move here and start an exciting metropolitan life. In one sense this city does have an energy like no other place on Earth.”
That’s Zachary Ilya Ezrin, often known simply as Ilya, guitarist of Imperial Triumphant, describing the band’s hometown. “It’s filled with drive, the inspiration to work hard and climb to the to the top,” Ilya continues. “It’s an amazing crossroads for greatness. On the other hand, it’s bogged down with a heavy grey atmosphere; an omnipresent bleakness built on all the past broken dreams and evil that goes on here. It can be suffocatingly painful.”
The conceptual metal power trio, which a includes drummer Kenny Grohowski and bassist/keyboardist Steve Blanco was to have played Brick By Brick on April 18. They’ve played the hard rocking venue before, and stamped it with their collective approval.
“San Diego is a very cool town,” remarks Ilya. “Our most recent [SD gig] was last year when we toured with Behold the Arctopus. It was maybe one of the best shows on the tour. The San Diego crowd was the most passionate and energized. We ended up having a few gear problems during the set but it was such a good crowd that nobody cared.”
Their arsenal includes most of the extreme metal tropes. But they also throw in horns, keyboards, and other unexpected sounds.
Their use of masks and costumes also makes them stand out. Those, explains Ilya, “all stem from a desire to make our stage attire reflect the music we’re performing. This solidifies the concert and presents the music in a more concentrated, digestible form. Our influences were from films such as Metropolis, Eyes Wide Shut, and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The act is always evolving.”
All the costumes, he acknowledges, “make everything more difficult. But at the same time somehow easier. Once we put the masks on, the ritual has begun. The masks do a lot of the work.”
The most recent album is Vile Luxury. The next release, Ilya cautions, “isn’t something we can speak too much about. The music is moving towards an even more dystopian sound than previous recordings. We used vintage instruments, sounds, and techniques to achieve this retro-dystopian atmosphere.”