The title says it all! Opinions expressed here are those of the authors. Personal tastes may vary, and we are cool with that.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

CD Review: Imperia's "Secret Passion"

I really enjoyed Imperia's Queen of Light, which came out in 2007, and do this day the track "Abyssum" still creates an bit of a lump in the old throat. So I was very excited when this Norwegian/Dutch metal outfit fronted by Helena Iren Michaelsen released this follow-up last week. Imperia is pretty underrated, IMHO. Queen of Light had so many fantastic elements, and Secret Passion continues on from there. Helena has a powerful, versatile voice, and in this most recent release, we can hear her working out some of the lower edge of her range, as well as pounding out those high notes at the top. Her voice is rich and textured, and it's one of the highlights of this CD. Although there seemed to be just a bit less choir parts in SP, the symphonic elements are still there and sound great. As with Queen of Light, there are some Eastern-ish elements in here, too, which add to the overall atmosphere.

I found the songwriting overall to be good, with some nice catchiness and a lot of heavy-as-hell moments. One song that has taken a while to grow on me is "Suicide" which starts out with Helena doing some high-pitched squeaky thing where she sounds like a wicked witch, and then moves quite seamlessly into her classical soprano mode. It's a chaotic, heavy, dark song and I now think it's one of the strongest songs on the album. She also uses the F-word in the chorus, which I quite liked. "Suicide" is immediately followed by "Hold On", which is a slower piece that implores "hold on, hold on, life is a gift, don't throw it away" - an apt reply to the previous song's despair.

Other highlights of the album for me are "Let Down" which is a fan-fucking-tastic, emotional power ballad with a great catchy chorus, and a nice ballad featuring a duet with a guy whose name I don't know called "My Sleeping Angel."

My version included a bonus track called "Mistress" which was a bit of a surprising addition as it is a dance mix.

There is a lot going on in this CD - lots of fast heavy stuff, lots of slower emotional stuff, lots of nice guitar work - and all of it is good shit! There are a lot of different moods captured here, and I liked that about it. I'm very impressed with this CD, and I hope this underrated band gets some decent exposure with it because they certainly deserve it. Definitely a big horns up! \m/

1 comment:

SpaceKev said...

Helena's voice is so versatile, that it added such a unique dimension that many bands in this genre just dont have. Not that other singers in this genre are horrible, far from it, but her voice, wow.