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Imperium - Dreamhunter

by Garrett Davis at 03 August 2016, 1:48 PM

IMPERIUM is a project by Mika Bushane - drummer of the Finnish band STRIKE. Bushane did a lot of the heavy lifting for this project, whilst also having a number of other musicians fill in on the guitars and vocals. Let me be clear and upfront about it: I loved this album. That being said, on the one hand, "Dreamhunter" is an exploration of classic Hard Rock - and we never get tired of that - yet on the other hand, it is classic Hard Rock and a lot of people get tired of it; it sounds confusing, but that's really the issue here. "Dreamhunter" is the same stuff we loved to hear in the 80s that has continued to bring in new and younger fans throughout the decades; and does it justice, but brings nothing original in comparison to the same songs we have been hearing for decades.

The title track "Dreamhunter" has that light yet intense tone that always draws me in. "Heaven is Falling" and "Wasted Years" have a really melodic Power Metal feel to them, from the resonant guitars to the piano accompaniment. The vocals are spread across a few guest singers but they all hit their marks and never seem out of place or poorly chosen for their particular track.

"Always Forever" has that 80s sound that is instantly recognisable and I just loved it. "Fire & Ice" has to be my favourite track, with screeching keys and soaring duets; with backup vocals added to an instantly lovable hook. There's nothing about it that I don’t love.

I love that the album includes a track titled "80s Love Song", because as we all know, ballads were part of the package on almost every Rock album of that time. It is exactly what you expect…and that, to me, makes it a lot of fun; as if they were mocking it as much as honouring it. Rather than give it a catchy title they blatantly called it what it is. One of my favourite guest stars has got to be Brushane's bandmate (from STRIKE and THUNDERSTONE) Pasi Rantanen; for he really brings that bright brass power-metal voice to bear on a couple of tracks.

Frankly, the whole thing hinges on how much you love 80s Rock and Metal; and whether you ever got sick of it. If you are still up for a great visit from the kind of stuff that built rock and roll into the enduring powerhouse it is today, don't pass up "Dreamhunter".

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 5
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

  1. Dreamhunter
  2. Heaven Is Falling
  3. Wasted Years
  4. Always Forever
  5. Fire & Ice
  6. There Will Be Light
  7. 80's Love Song (Angel Eyes)
  8. Reach For The Stars
  9. Starlight
  10. Victory
  11. Finem Vocationem
Mika Brushane - Drums, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass

Guest Musicians:

Pasi Rantanen - Vocals and Guitars
Markku Kuikka - Vocals and Guitars
Nisse Nordling - Vocals
Toni Huovinen - Guitars
Samuli Federley - Guitars
Ade Manninen - Guitars
Pirkka Isotalo - Bass (Victory)
Jami Huovinen - Keyboard (solo Dreamhunter)
Record Label: AOR Heaven Records


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