The visual side of Imperial Triumphant is just as vital as the music. The striking album cover of Alphaville is a lavish vision of a dystopian city, created by Polish artist Zbigniew M. Bielak, who has worked with the likes of Ghost and Watain. “We wanted it to be something complex, but also simple and bold,” Zach explains. “Zbigniew actually reached out to us, which was a huge honour because we love his style. He actually has an architectural background, and we were nerding out about favourite buildings!” The focal point is a grand, gold skyscraper with a face – that’s similar to the mask that Zach wears onstage.
When they play live, all of Imperial Triumphant wear elegant yet sinister Art Deco-style masks with features that represent the member’s individual personalities. While most mask-wearing musicians do so to conceal their identities, for Imperial Triumphant, it’s just another way to immerse the audience further into their world.
“We want to visually represent our music,” explains Zach. “It’s not an anonymous thing. When we step onstage, we want you to see what the music sounds like immediately.” Onstage, the band never speak to their audience – instead, they have a fourth voice that acts as a sort of narrator.
“If I’m onstage and have a mask on and say things like, ‘Thanks for coming’, that kind of takes you out of the concert, takes you out of the world that we’re trying to take you into, it takes you out of the darkness,” Zach explains. “It humanises the figures you see on stage and that’s not what we want to do.”
With COVID cancelling their tours for 2020, Imperial Triumphant are adapting to this new era. Unable to film together, they released suitably berserk animated music videos for songs from Alphaville like Rotted Futures and Atomic Age, and are contemplating future plans. All of the band have experience in scoring films, and Zach says they would love for Imperial Triumphant to score music for film, TV or video games.
“I feel like that’s something we could do in this COVID age,” Zach says. “We’re just gonna keep adapting, keep evolving. With everything the band does, we give 110 percent in every opportunity – no matter what.”
Alphaville is out now via Century Media.
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