is a real multi-cultural band; guitarist John
Stam is from the Netherlands, bass player Gerry Verstreken is from
Belgium, guitarist Jan Yrlund is from Finland, drummer Steve Wolz is
from Germany and keyboard player Audun Grønnestad and singer Helena
Michaelsen are both from Norway.
Some of you might know
Helena Michaelsen from her work with Trail of Tears. 'Queen of
Light' is their second album, their first one 'The Ancient Dance of
Qetesh' was released back in 2004 on the small Ebony Tears label.
So is Imperia just
another female fronted symphonic metal band (?) that have been
showing up left and right since bands like Nightwish, Evanescence
and Within Temptation have had such big success over the last couple
Yes, to some extend they
are... but they do have a darker and harder edge to their music than
the above mentioned bands. The style is unmistakable symphonic,
bombastic and epic power metal and the oriental flair they let flow
into some of their songs is very cool. Take a listen to "Fata
Morgana" - a very cool song and my personal favorite on the album -
this song really shows the potential that lies within this band.
Sadly not all of the 13 songs have this high standard, and the album
does lack some in the production department, especially rhythm
section is not up to par with the rest.
Helena Michaelsen's operatic
vocal deliverance is bound to draw parallels to Sharon del Adel and
Tarja Turunen, and without ever reaching their high level she still
does a good job on this album. Genre fans can buy this album
blind-folded because this is solid craftsmanship and Imperia
are surely going in the right direction with this album.
"Mirror", "Broken Wings", "Norway" & "Fata Morgana".