Published on Thursday, 14 January 2016 19:44
Album title: Tears Of Silence
Release date: 20 November 2015
Label: Massacre Records
01. Silence Is My Friend
03. Broken (When The Silence Cries)
05. Friheten Vil Seire
06. My Screaming Heart
08. The Vikingsong
09. Spirit Chase (Keep Fighting)
10. Innocent Child
11. Wings Of Hope
12. We'll Be Free [Bonus]
13. Broken Hearts [Bonus]
Surprise, surprise from the Norwegian band Imperia, I didn't expect such an album from this band, but I can say that Helena Iren Michaelsen (Angel, ex-Trail Of Tears) and company nailed it this time. The surprise is even bigger because I never was really charmed by their music, I found it more or less kind of an average female fronted gothic/symphonic metal thing, so I approached to this album with mixed feelings and to tell you the truth I expected the worst. All of my fears vanished as soon as the album opener "Silence Is My Friend" started to spin and I was instantly taken over by straight, catchy and emotional atmospheric sound.
Tears Of Silence is a fourth full-lenght for Imperia and is absolutely their best work to date, it's also their most intense and versatile album. They debuted in 2004 with album The Ancient Dance Of Qetesh and their previous full-lenght, Secret Passion, was released in 2011. Imperia doesn't uncover anything new musicwise, they never did, neither they are experimenting that much, but what they do is to deliver a high class symphonic gothic metal which is in this case quite distinguishable. On Tears Of Silence you'll find eleven tracks plus two in my opinion unnecessary bonuses on some editions. Most of the tracks are quite groovy and atmospheric compositions with interesting additions of folk elements and huge, sometimes bombastic orchestrations. The whole thing is quite dynamic, mostly thanks to the great vocals of Helena, who shoved this time her best perfomance ever, as she captivates and enthuses with many vocal variations, from her typical operatic soprano singing, to charming deep, tender, yet very emotional and sometimes we can hear even heavy grunts on for example the heavy hitting groover "Crossroads" and on intense "My Screaming Heart".
The instrumental side, guitar riffs, a couple of leads here and there, and the typical heavy metal rhythmic lines, that many times bring in mind 80s metal giants, are more or less simplistic, but still powerful and highly dynamic all over. Great use of keyboards adds a lot to the whole atmosphere and it makes songs quite dark, rich and full of ambiance. Even if sometimes it reminds to Nightwish, Leaves' Eyes and most of all to Doro, Imperia managed to achive some kind of a trademark sound. There are flutes and whistles, bagpipes, bouzoukis, acoustic guitars, piano, violins and also a Russian choir on the album, that's perfectly heard in the folkish metal anthem "The Vikingsong" or in the evocative "Spirit Chase (Keep Fighting)".
As necessary for this kind of style Imperia doesn't forget about the catchiness and most of the melodies are truly captivating, the sound is dense and powerful all over and even if the band adds some fillers it doesn't became boring. Most of the compositions have the necessary flow and drive, but in my opinion the best thing on this album is a masterfully executed "Innocent Child", it's a joy listening to those semi balladic elements blended so well with energetic chorus where Imperia really shines. Not only this one, also before mentioned "Crossroads", the stunning adventurous piece "Broken (When The Silence Cries)", the magical "Friheten Vil Seire", vocally very strong "Wings Of Hope" and almost epic emotional semi ballad "Away", are all some of the best things in the female fronted metal sector that I've heard recently.
With Tears Of Silence Imperia did an album full of many different elements and they succeeded to implement many musical styles into one hell of a coherent and well balanced structure. Apart to some parts that can be a bit too much predictable and organic, most of the album is a fascinating fantasy for your ears. Thanks also to very good and clear production the whole thing shines even more. This is an album that should bring joy into the hearts of all lovers of female fronted metal, certainly not to be missed.
Review written by: T.V.