Imperium - 'Beyond The Stars'

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Imperium - 'Beyond The Stars'

There are no bad songs on the album at all.

This is the sophomore album from Imperium, a project masterminded by Finnish drummer Mika Brushane, who, whilst obviously playing drums on the album, writes all the material and also handles the bass and keyboards. The debut album 'Dreamhunter' saw the light of day in 2016. On this release he has gathered together an impressive collection of guitarists, added to which are vocal contributions from Dennis Ward, Markku Kuikka, Antti Railio and Sweden's Rob Lundgren.

The net result is a quality album of pure AOR, which from the opening title cut (Dennis Ward) gives you a fantastic idea of what to expect for the other nine songs. On the vocal front Ward shines well, and in addition to the opening tune he also handles vocal duties on the other standout track 'King Of The World'.

All the tracks have the typical dose of keyboards, great melodies and guitar solos. It has the Scandinavian feel we come to expect from this part of the world. The whole project being nicely balanced and produced, and it's the sort of album you can put on, listen to it in its entirety and you won't become bored.

In addition to the aforementioned, standout tracks include 'Spread Your Wings', 'World On Fire' and 'Just A Dream'. Having said that, there are no bad songs on the album at all; it's just these songs seem to connect easier than the remainder. The label has a reputation for quality AOR, and this release won't harm their roster in any way, shape or form. The downside of a project like this is the inevitable conclusion that you will never get to see the songs performed live which is one hell of a shame!

Steve Price

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