Imperium - 'Dreamhunter' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 01, 2016    
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A sterling effort that will be enjoyed by anyone who likes a dollop of melody and power mixed by a master.

It's that oddity of oddities, a drummer album! We all know that drummers don't always get the respect they deserve, and that they sit at the back dreaming up all the brilliant songs their band could be doing, but no one listens to them – AND they make "stupid drummer" jokes. So yeah, drummers can be a seething cauldron of resentment and deservedly so!

Joking aside, Imperium is a side project from Strike drummer, Mika Brushane, who wrote all the tracks and drafted in singers and guitarists to do the bits he was unable to. Smart guy, as knowing his limitations has helped him deliver what is a very enjoyable AOR album.

As the title track starts the fun, it is clear this isn't a "fluffy" Melodic Rock piece; although there's melody aplenty, it's tied up in serious riffage and pounding drums, complemented by well-placed keyboard interjection. It's a great opener with a fast pace and ridiculously catchy chorus.
The following track, 'Heaven Is Falling Down', just makes the grin on your face bigger, as it's AOR-friendly with a chorus that just won't leave your head; it's something with more of a Brother Firetribe vibe than anything else, which of course... is a good thing.

Throughout the album, Brushane flirts with Pompy AOR and Melodic, almost Power Metal genres alike, and does both equally well. His three chosen vocalists (Pasi Rantanen, Markku Kuikka and Nisse Nordling) are good enough to carry the material, if not anything too special, but the material is good enough for any decent vocalist to work with.

'Dreamhunter' is certainly a pleasant surprise, thanks to Brushane's ability with melody and pacing, and a willingness not to stuff the album with songs that sound the same as each other. This does mean that your own taste will favour certain tracks over others (in my case the more Poppy, catchy ones), but it also means the listener has more to dig into as none of the songs are actually bad or boring.

A sterling effort that will be enjoyed by anyone who likes a dollop of melody and power mixed by a master.

Alan Holloway

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