Review: “Self Titled” by Imperium

Growing up with Thrash and Heavy Metal from the pre-2000’s era, vocalist Ben Porter, lead guitarist Hardip Sagoo, drummer James Hawes, bassist Rapha Comes and rhythm guitarist Scott Lomas formed Imperium and dropped their first single in two years ago, beginning a journey that will take them to Bloodstock Open Air Festival in August as winners of the London Meta 2 The Masses competition. Signed to Unearthed Management, the band have a fierce live reputation having shared stages with Helgrind, Blood Oath and Rituals to name but a few and are known for fast paced riffs, fierce groove sections and powerful live performances for ultimate headbanging satisfaction…

…reputations can be a double edged sword, setting expectations before a note is even heard but fortunately for Imperium, what we’ve heard on grapevine is actually pretty nailed on. Groove orientated Pantera inspired riffs fly from both axes during “Here Comes The Night“, picking up the tempo for a razor sharp cut glass solo before starring over the edge of the cliff into Thrash with a tastefully classic bass bleed out, a little whammy bar action and the kind of gruff clean vocals that make for a solid sing-a-long. Its the kind of cut that sounds familiar while at the same time having a life of it’s own so while you might have heard things in a similar vein previously, there is still plenty here to enjoy. As solid as the opening cut is, its “The Passing” is where things get much more interesting. An eight minute magnum opus of Progressive Thrash with “And Justice For All” era Metallica vibes, extended instrumental passages and all the riffs you could possibly want, it’s a real showcase for the bands musicianship and song writing abilities, something which defies the odds given how long they’ve been writing together.

Big single “Ragnarok” continues the trend as another cut from the same cloth in classic style before going full circle, “Deceived” marks the conjoined twin of the opening cut, another sing-a-long anthem with a solid chorus that benefits from having a classy extended solo.¬†Imagine if you will what bands like The Raven Age would sound like if instead of Iron Maiden they leaned towards Metallica for their influence and when it’s stripped down the bare essentials, you have the Imperium sound. The difference is that Imperium lack a little bit of flamboyance. The record would benefit from a couple of real gut punch moments, a heavy breakdown, a fretboard smoking solo or an unclean roar here or there, just to push what they have a little bit further because there is the sense here that they’re holding back just a little. Perhaps that’s something they add live or perhaps something that will come with more experience of writing together but it’s the cigarette papers difference between being solid and being stunning. Not that there is anything wrong with these cuts in any way, shape or form, they’re a solid quartet that show plenty of potential for a debut album that could blow our socks off and send steam shooting out of our ears… [7/10]

Track Listing

  1. Here Comes The Night
  2. The Passing
  3. Ragnorok
  4. Deceived

Self Titled” by Imperium is out now

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *