Imperial Vengeance – Black Heart of The Empire (CD)


Imperial Vengeance are a symphonic black metal act formed in 2007 by C. Edward Alexander (Ex Cradle of Filth, Vocals, Guitars and Orchestration) and David Bryan (Bass, Lyrics) in an attempt to explore ideas and material firmly rooted in the glory days of the British Empire and presenting a wide range of subjects influenced by it’s colourful social and military histories, theatre, literature and mythologies.

This offering is described as being “Ten Tales of Intrigue, Phantasm and Derring Do” this musical masterpiece takes the listener on a journey around the backstreets of the absinthe soaked streets of old London town during the dark, decadent opium den laden days of Queen Victoria’s British Empire.

The album even comes complete with a 42 page “penny dreadful” style booklet to further aid the listeners voyage into decadence and features guest appearances from Therion soprano Lori Lewis and Vulture Industries vocalist Bjørnar Erevik Nilsen, as well as spoken word by author/former gangster Dave Courtney and the Great Beast himself, Aleister Crowley.

The masters of dark Aristocratic Black Metal have struck again with another stunning work of art.

Opening narrative “In cobbled streets and blackend walls, I lead you down a secret way, with treets like Newgate and St Pauls and crosshatched avenues of play. We’ll walk these places of renown this artists view of London Town, Such sounds we’ll hear such sounds we’ll see, in bleak scenes like ink treachery.” sets the scene for the fantastic trip into London’s dark, decaying underworld in what has got to be one of the concept albums of the year.

Musically the album is a truly stunning peace of work and quite simply is dark symphonic black metal at its best ~ crunching guitar riffs, haunting symphonic backing vocals, intriguing lyrics expertly executed.

Faults with the album ? as with most concept style albums this is one of those releases that you will either absolutely love or really hate – there is no middle ground with it.

The Highlight of this great album is controversially “Of Insect and Allegory”

Rating: 9/10

Track listing:

1. Scenes of Inked Treachery;
2. Black Heart of an Empire;
3. The Voice of Thelema;
4. The Ghost Light;
5. Veiled Threats Over Cocktails;
6. The Devil in The Detail;
7. Out Went the Candle, and We Were Left Darkling;
8. Upon The Stair;
9. Of Insect and Allegory;
10. The Black Idol;

C.Edward-Alexander – Vocals, Guitars, Orchestration
David Bryan – Bass, Lyrics


About lee

Freelance Journalist/Photographer. Covers Liverpool/North West of England.