Impera is the creation of drummer J. K. Impera, formed with a collection of seasoned rock veterans including Tommy Denander on guitar, Matti Alfonzetti on vocals, and Mats Vassfjord on bass. The fact that Tommy Denander is in this outfit should suggest more than a little interest for hard rock fans; he's one of best session guitarists going.
Fundamentally, what Impera and company give you on their debut album, Legacy of Life, is melodic hard rock with a notable metal edge. From the start, musicianship is not in question; these guys can play and play well. For instance, Denander's guitar fireworks as terrific as expected. The surprise may be, the relatively unknown, vocalist Matti Alfonzetti, who is natural rock singer.
Also, you cannot dispute Impera's song craftsmanship: these are tight, melodic, and hard rocking arrangements, which still allow enough room for each musician to flex. Conversely, they also have a true European melodic hard rock familiarity. Sort of that feeling that says, 'been there, heard that before.' And sometimes the songs aren't all that gripping. After three spins, I can only point to three songs that turned my head and enlightened my ears: Kiss of Death, Show Me the Money, and More Than Meets the Eye. The first two had catchy hooks, and the third, Denander roaring in his solo. Again, this is not to say that Legacy of Life is dull or average, but possibly conventional with some genuine sparks flying across the album. In the end, the greatest strength of this album is likely the players more than the tunes.
Impera's Legacy of Life is a good, if not conventional, melodic hard rock debut from a band with a huge amount of talent.
England's Seven had a bottle rocket-like existence between 1989 and 1990, spinning two singles in the latter year and performing with the likes of Richard Marx. Then they were gone. But some remembered them ... [ Read More ]