Release DetailsLABEL Nuclear Blast
RELEASED ON 5/17/2004
posted on 7/2004 By:
Now, I’ve heard my fair share of Children of Bodom clones, as Norther, Skyfire, Kalmah, Evemaster, Immortal Souls, and probably tons of others I haven’t heard all have attempted to take a bite out of Finnish sounding symphonic melodic death metal, but Imperanon take the cake.
You can take this review two ways: either accept this as a pure CoB clone and dismiss it immediately as a talentless clone with no originality or you can accept that Imperanon are doing an admittedly overused sound, but doing it incredibly well. Barely in their 20’s, Imperanon are to melodic death metal what Decapitated were to brutal death metal a few years back; kids taking their favorite peers’ music and doing that style to a polished, conventional, familiar sounding, albeit enjoyable T.
I could rehash the genre Imperanon play for you but as a regular reader of this site, I’m assuming you have some knowledge of what the typically Finnish melodic death sound is; symphonic, peppy, bouncy and annoyingly catchy. It’s an almost flirtatious style of metal that gets under your skin and few admit to listening to. Finnish death metal is that underage, over made up adolescent girl at the mall you checked out, who saunters away battling her eyelids at you in front of your wife.
Imperanon do nothing to the recipe at all, but credit where credit is due, while Norther and Skyfire seem unable to break out from CoB’s shadow, Imperanon are stepping out and making Laiho and Co. a little nervous. Strong compositions, deft solos and a polished production, puts Stained squarely in the “heard it before category”, but with an added flair, Imperanon, seem a little more attitude laden and focused on perfecting that sound, rather than simply re-hashing it.
Opener “Blade” sets the tone as possibly the album’s slightly early climax, but it’s a stunner, even if the rest of the material can’t quite reach the same standard, although they offer a bevy of foot-tapping, head nodding finger noodling moments. Heavy on the “twiddle-de-twiddle-de-twiddle-de-doo” type of riffs, these kids can play their stuff despite the complete lack of individual identity. “Rhythm of Pain”, bounces along as the album's most accessible track, and show even though Impernanon are total clones, they can pen a decent riff or two. The introduction of female vocals for “Shadowsouls” is the album’s only unique trait, and it’s a stunning addition to the well played but at this point in the album, tired formula. It almost reenergizes you, as you glaze over with the lush, pompous sound.
I’m torn on this one; on one hand, this is ridiculously well-played, produced and delivered, but it’s also incredibly contrived and blatantly plagiarized to the point of sounding like a cover band (incidentally how Imperanon started). The songwriting score could be a 1 for being a massive rip-off or a 5 because it’s still catchy as hell. I went ahead and gave the youngsters the benefit of my benevolence.
Watch your ass Alexi.
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