|Review: Imperialist - Cipher|
Label: Transcending Obscurity
Year released: 2018
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review online: November 8, 2018
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
This is the debut for California band Imperialist, and it comes as a rather lavishly-produced package and a good bit of hype. Billed as Black Metal, this is really nothing of the kind. This is highly melodic Death Metal all the way, except for some tremolo riffing and the fact that the guitars don't seem to be as downtuned as is usual for Death Metal—but that hardly counts as enough to make this black. The lyrical themes are all dark Sci-Fi subjects, which I think is cool, but again: not Black Metal.
Despite all the hype, this is merely adequate. The production is pro but also rather featureless, without enough punch or bite to the guitar sound. The vocals of guitarist Sergio Soto are a decent dry rasp, but they don't generate any excitement or drama. Mostly it is just that the songwriting is monotonous and not very good. The songs don't really develop or build, they just start up and then repeat until they stop, with no real dynamic or variation built into the compositions. The riffs are strictly average, and don't ever get you fired up. Cipher is not a bad album, but it has nothing that really stands out as good either. Bland.
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