Imperanon - Stained
Nuclear Blast
Melodic Power/Death Metal
11 songs (42.00)
Release year: 2004
Imperanon, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Aleksie
Surprise of the month
And here I go again. Another veritable newcomer from the dear land of my home and heart, Finland. On their debut Stained, Imperanon displays some very strong potential to become a major force in the metal world in the coming years. The guys are in no hurry that is - with the exception of bass player Eki Nurmikari, 26, the average age of the band is about a steady 18 years. The music is a mix of some of the biggest players in the Finnish (and nowadays even global in many senses) metal scene, namely Children Of Bodom and Sonata Arctica. You would get pretty close if you mix the aggressive riffing, drumming and harsh vocals of Bodom with the quite dominant keyboards and “keys-guitar-harmonizing soloing/melodies” of Sonata. Singer/guitarist Aleksi Keinänen is clearly highly influenced by “WC” Laiho and that’s not saying it in a bad way. You can actually make a difference, even between the singing voices of the two. Writing Imperanon off as another Zerox-COB would be a considerable mistake, that’s not the case. These guys incorporate power metal-elements much more than Bodom, especially in the quite huge keyboards that bring the Sonata/Nightwish type feel to the album.

Technically speaking the bands playing could be easily considered phenomenal even for a group of seasoned, “in their mid-thirties” metal veterans, let alone a band that is just about hitting the twenties on average. The composing is mostly strong as well, but the guys haven’t found their own, unique thing yet that would really make them miles above the bland mass, but considering this only the debut, time is still quite well on their side. The best standout tracks include the more aggressive cuts like Prisoner In Me (beware for the mighty blast beat!:) and the title track; the mid-paced, mosh pit-annihilating Rhythm Of Pain and the power-induced melody-blitzes Sold and Shadowsouls. The female guest vocalist on the latter (a friend of the guitarists, not a renown singer at least to my knowledge) has some wicked pipes and can go pretty insanely high. Could even give Kotipelto a run for his money. Thunderstones Pasi Rantanen gives a solid and strong guest vocal performance on the slower track Hollow Man, but doesn’t help the composition from being among the more mediocre stuff on the record. The final song on the album Jos Jotain Yrittää (Harva Meistä On Rautaa) is an awesome and silly cover of a bit older Finnish humppa (a music style of Finnish, old, folky dance music, a style witch can also be heard on many Finntroll songs among their mayhem) - hit song by the legendary Finnish lounge-humppa singer, Frederik!!! One probably cant get the song that well if one is not Finnish, but to us this is a real treat:) A metal song with accordion simply CANNOT do any wrong!

So, a very solid performance: stunning technically and good on terms of song writing. Very catchy melodies flood this album all over and present some nice moshing rhythms in the process. Especially recommended for fans of harsh singing who don’t mind insane amounts of melody, and to every fan of the biggest Finnish metal names of the present day. With time as Imperanon gets more experience on the road and can find a bit more personal style, these guys are definitely going to top this off to even dizzier heights. A name to watch closely in the following years for sure.

Killing Songs :
Stained, Prisoner In Me, Sold, Rhythm Of Pain, Shadowsouls & Harva Meistä On Rautaa!
Aleksie quoted 83 / 100
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