Label: Escape 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Going through the tracklisting of Impera one will notice several titles that once belonged to your favourite acts of the past. "Kiss Of Death", "More Than Meets The Eye" and "Is This Love", are however not the songs performed by the hair-metal legends of Dokken, Europe, and Whitesnake. Nope, these songs and project is the brainchild of drummer J.K Impera? We've never heard of him either but appearently he's been bashing the skins for Bruce Kulick, Graham Bonnet, Vinnie Vincent, John Corabi, and Brian Robertson. We might have noticed him earlier but it's not like drummers are musicians or anything? They merely hang out with them (ouch! ancient joke). :)
Tommy Denander on lead guitar and that's usually enough info for us to turn off the stereo nowadays. Don't get me wrong, Tommy D is the six-string bender supreme and we enjoy the first Radioactive album, etc. But man, he's been playing on every sappy AOR album in the past 10-12 years and I believe he's currently the guitarist in hold of the world record for playing on most crap albums? Ehem, somebody should tell him it's quality over quantity. That's rich coming from a crap reviewer? I dunno... Tommy probably agrees about the amount of crap and that any session work is indeed session work. He's done several good ones too and the guitarwork on Impera kicks major butt. It's a proper guitar album for once (no keyboards whatsoever) riffs a plenty - licks 'n tricks in the old school tradition of melodic metal and hard rock.
Matti Alfonzetti (Jagged Edge, Bam Bam Boys. Skintrade, etc) on lead vocals and he's always rock solid and underrated by most. Add to this a rather punchy production by Lars Chriss of Lion's Share fame and we're all done. Huh? right, the actual songmaterial? It may at times remind you of Jagged Edge and the solo album, 'Ready', mostly due to Matti's vocals of course, but also because of the classy guitar work. Scandinavian acts and the guitar work by the likes of: Pangea, TNT (Realized Fantasies), Fate (the 'Scratch and Sniff' album feat. Mattias "la" Eklundh) plus some of the work by Lynch Mob - the other hints and tiny point(er)s to pick up along the way. Not quite as impressive but not shabby at all.
I'm sure others will find the international and famous act to compare to the music of Impera, but I'll stick to my guns. It's the riff guitar based rock album and it may lack a couple of more fun sing-a-long melodies in the vein of "Tell Me", "Is This Love" and "Show me The Money". It's overall solid and close to 4 R's (4 R's? Are we pirates or what?). I leave you with this from the press-release: In a departure from their icons, KISS, only J.K wears make-up on stage, but it's nothing like the trademark KISS characters. "It's my way of showing that I'm the ruler", J.K laughs. Every band needs a leader, and in this band it's me. I'm the Yngwie in IMPERA. But that's not to say we're not a band - we are, and we're here to rule the world!, end quote. - Everybody wants to rule the world (Tears For Fears)...