Imperial Cult – The Rise of Yalamber

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/Label: Unsigned
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Band Website:
Released: 2014

Rise of Yalamber EP (300x300)Band Line-Up:

Vocals: Ashish Syangbo Tamang
Guitars: Sidharth Lama
Guitars: Kushal Rai
Bass: Rishav Khawas


1. The Abomination
2. Black Stone
3. Pain of Mortals
4. Rise of Yalamber


Ever get sick of black/death metal bands that don’t show any songwriting ability, playing the same horrible tremolo riff throughout entire songs?  I know what that shit is like.  Albums low on imagination and musicianship that sometimes get overhyped because of imagery over substance.  Imperial Cult’s Rise of Yalamber ended up in my job cue with little or no expectations from me.  I’d never heard about them or their music.  I rolled-up my sleeves, put on my headphones and played the promo sample of their EP, and lo and behold, Imperial Cult renewed my faith in the underground, where bands rise and fall without so much as an open-minded blurb or two from a writer.  This album is a pretty decent listen.  Bands much bigger fail mightily with heavier expectations.

The Rise of Yalamber isn’t your straight-forward blackened/death album.  The band make use of very creative touches like melodic leads and occasional acoustic guitar.  The riffs are well-played and well-conceived.  You don’t think of them as more black than death, more death than black.  They might describe their music as such, but The Rise of Yalamber shouldn’t be confused with some mediocre releases in that sub-genre.  They use a fair dose of melody and catchy songwriting, moving from one riff or lead to another with nuance, imagination and good musicianship.

This should just be the start of things for them.  A heavy dose of melody and craftsmanship puts this album over your run-of-the-mill promos for the month type that routinely make their way rank-and-file towards obscurity.  Some bands make it from hype, or milk one good release throughout careers-worth of mediocre releases.  Imperial Cult should be proud of themselves with this release.  They obviously took time to piece songs together, writing the riffs so they blend together well, the drummer setting the pace so the tempos change with precision.  What’s more is that Imperial Cult makes good use of a bassist who can occasionally interplay with the guitar leads like good ol’ thrash and heavy metal bands used to, in fact, like they theoretically should.  For lovers of old-school melodic death/thrash/heavy metal with touches of black metal on the tremolo riffs and rung notes, Imperial Cult should add some variety to your collection, especially if you pay too much attention to bands trying to make a reputation by blasting end-to-end on songs reflecting little craftsmanship.

There are only four songs on this EP, but repeat listens are likely.  Listen to all four tracks if you can, and give kvlt bands that pose for pictures better than actually writing songs a permanent break if you choose to.

Review by Al Necro