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Sick Riffs: Zachary Ilya Ezrin teaches you the dissonant doom of Imperial Triumphant's Transmission to Mercury

Sick Riffs #104: Masked NYC black metallers Imperial Triumphant have a truly unique writing style as evidenced by their catalogue - which now comprises four full-length albums, since the release of 2020's Alphaville.

The record's arrangements evoke images of dystopia, employing complex and dissonant chord progressions to convey its message. Most of the songs are over six minutes, too.

Guitarist Zachary Ilya Ezrin joins us today - unmasked, of course - to teach you the chords of Transmission to Mercury, the album's fifth track. Some are jazzy out of context, but they're grouped together in this progression create a hopeless sense of doom.

Ezrin plays a Jackson KV2 USA electric guitar through a Peavy 5150 amp to achieve the track's killer tone.

"The coronavirus has luckily only affected my job," Ezrin says. "As with all musicians in NYC, there are now zero gigs. Yet, my family and band are all healthy and safe which is what matters. However it is quite frustrating. 

"We have not only postponed two tours but also postponed music videos because it's so bad in NYC. However, New York is resilient and we will persevere."

Support Imperial Triumphant

Sick Riffs is a Guitar World video series designed to help guitarists affected by the coronavirus. Self-isolating players around the world have each filmed a lesson where they teach you one of their own guitar riffs, up close and personal. If you dig the lesson, we encourage you to buy music and merch from the artist or stream their music.

I'm a Staff Writer at Guitar World. I've played guitar for 15+ years and have a degree in Music Technology (Mixing & Mastering). I suppose that makes me qualified to talk to you about this stuff? I'm into all genres of music, but first and foremost I love all things rock and metal.