For a relatively long time, I’ve been considering more and more the possibility of taking a flight to Europe one day to attend a symphonic metal show. These kinds of bands always take my heart and give strength to it. I recently had the chance to review one group who I never heard before, and I’ve already written down their name to remember when they come to North America. IMPERIA is the name of that band, and you should definitely take some time to check them out.
Formed in the amazing lands of Norway back in 2004, Helena Iren Michaelsen (former singer of EPICA) set the first stone to forge this talented group of musicians and create some awesome melodies for you to enjoy. IMPERIA recently released their fourth album Tears of Silence (Massacre Records), and it is expected the quartet of Gerry Verstreken (bass), Steve Wolz (drums), Jan “Örkki” Yrlund (guitars) and Helena put together a piece of work that I’ll hopefully express my gratitude for in the coming paragraphs.
Thirteen amazing songs is what the record offers with zero time for boredom or wasted time. “Silence Is My Friend” does an excellent job for an opener; with heavy riffs, an excellent melody and a catchy chorus. “Crossroads” was released as one of the singles and it’s a faster song, good headbanging material, proof of the amazing mix among all the instruments. “Broken When the Silence Cries” is by far one of my favorites. The chorus is sensational and Wolz’ work fits it just in place with the double-drums. “Away” has a slower start, but it offers exactly what I love about all these symphonic metal bands: long tracks, ideal for travel, think, work, meditate or whatever works best for you. “Friheten Vil Seire” adds wind elements to the introduction and they keep harmonizing the entire song, taking you to the golden medieval ages right between the forests where the history of humanity is being forged.
“My Screaming Heart” also offers some classical chord work before moving on to the faster rhythm. Helena’s voice in the album so far sounds so strong that I can already see her perform with the most feeling right in the stage. “Motherlove” sounds like the previous song, but only in structure. IMPERIA sounds very creative in the music they write, but this one brings the harder rock elements to it and it turned out to be a pleasant mix of different vocal notes. “The Vikingsong” is a crusher. I love the concept of Vikings and if you’ve ever loved folk metal, nothing else needs to be said about this track and you can just let yourself live and go. “Spirit Chase Keep Fighting” sounds like a conclusion to the album but it’s really not, it only reminds you that you have a new favorite band right now and that you’re very, very happy to hear a beautiful woman sing the high notes out from her heart just for you.
“Innocent Child” is the slower tune that’s never let out of any band that has real singers, but there’s nothing to worry about because “Wings Of Hope” comes back with a long song that musically sounds like a shortened Broadway story, and there’s nothing I don’t love about it. The closer “Broken Hearts” is an excellent melodic conclusion to an album that I’m really glad I heard. Helena’s voice is beautiful and that’s what you’ll get during this track, along with some deep piano notes along the road. Knowing Helena’s musical background and work, I’d say she’s the perfect person to lead the band, and she’s a very strong reason of why this musical work is stunning.
Tears of Silence is truly outstanding. IMPERIA definitely left a really good taste for me to check out their previous albums and have some more material to enjoy my life. Congrats to everyone involved in this process and make sure you support really talented bands like this one all the time. Peace.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Crossroads”, “Silence Is My Friend”, “Broken When the Silence Cries”, “The Vikingsong”, “My Screaming Heart”.