Imperium is the brand new release from the California death metal act The Kennedy Veil. Drawing upon the utter hell that is humanity’s current state, Imperium rages with great theatrical chaos in its instrumentation, giving a truly devastating sense of doom. Weaving elements of classical music throughout their work, the band presents a blackened-death sound that rings with foreboding and apocalyptic-like tones.
Beginning the record with “Godslaughter”, the band sets the foundation for the album’s onslaught of destruction. While the drum work clashes and the guitar shreds away, there is a classical touch in the background that rises with a great feeling of triumph. “Legacy Left” flows along with the same mentality, keeping to a heavy beat down of instrumentation with the lingering classical elements. The guitar and drum work provide a wild drive in their rhythm and all out brutality.
It’s by track three, “Hunted To Extinction”, where Imperium begins to unleash its strongest material. Opening on a dark blend of strings with a haunting opera-like presence, the song unravels with somber guitar notes. The track takes a step back from the speed found in the previous titles, allowing the progression to settle into this horror-like atmosphere that pulsates with emotion. The careful pounce of bass and drumming helps to build the tension within the work, all before the band rips into chaos. The shift is welcoming, as the band balances the use of all-out wildness, with a symphonic blackened-death energy that comes with immense emotion. Whereas the vocals don’t do much to add to this sense of feeling, they do give the material an edge in its overall heaviness.
The song structure of Imperium gives life to the album, for each track feels fresh. The Kennedy Veil do much more this time around to produce emotion from their work, rather than go all-out technical with the material. That said, the band is still able to provide a terrific platter of sounds that keep to an ever-captivating soundtrack of what the end of the world might sound like. One truly excellent example of this is the song “Flesh Of The Sun”, kicking things off with a horrifically powerful screech, and haunting guitar rhythm. The metal aspect of the instrumentals does a superb job of blending in a classical nature to it, presenting so much of the album’s potent symphonic strengths. The guitar playing takes center stage within the title, aiding in giving most of the vibrant chaos within the song. “Seething Rot” is similar in this fashion, riding away on hellish waves of savage riffs and blistering drumming.
Imperium goes for more feeling rather than a monotonous beat down of heaviness. The mix of tremendous metal savagery and haunting orchestra-like elements give an eerie presence to the record. This time around, The Kennedy Veil have created a work that bursts with a sense of terror, raging with ferocity and technicality. The shift in focus on song structure has allowed for the band to explore more territory, and craft an overall work that rings with doom and death.