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Flame Imperishable - Glory and Ruin

Flame Imperishable
Glory and Ruin
by David Hough at 21 September 2022, 2:20 PM

FLAME IMPERISHABLE is a progressive power metal act consisting of husband and wife team, Jason Lee Greenberg and Jennifer Greenberg. Jason plays the instruments, and Jennifer does the vocal work. There is clean singing throughout every track on the album.

On “The Halls Of Waiting (Oblivion),” Jennifer’s excellent, operatic vocals make the song sound especially epic. This track has acoustic guitar, clean electric guitar, and distorted power metal guitar work that Jason does well. The song is a bit too long, but it’s still a quality track overall.

After that fine opening salvo, the rest of the album is a mixed bag. For example, “Shrine Of Resurrection” is, at best, soft progressive rock. Jennifer’s voice still rings true, but the song lacks any real metal punch. The subject matter of the hero’s journey is overdone, and the instrumentation leaves much to be desired.

The following track, “Bregalad’s Lament,” is an easy listening instrumental that sounds more like 90s KENNY G than anything even remotely tied to metal. I guess this is what they meant by progressive power metal. Unfortunately, this track doesn’t push enough boundaries for me to consider it progressive at all. It’s a thoroughly boring track from start to finish.

Following that track is “The Herald’s Approach.” It features a compelling saxophone intro. The sax then overstays its welcome by weaving in and out of the track. The story is interesting, and there is some fine power metal riffing by Jason. While it has some high points, I didn’t find that many likable elements overall.

The album ends with “The Scarlet Gale,” a three-part epic that is roughly eighteen minutes long. The first part, “Darkness Falling,” serves as an introduction to the epic. It’s a slow, meandering acoustic track that serves its purpose and nothing more. The second part, “The Descent,” is by far the best track on the album. It also is the most straightforward power metal track. The riffs are stellar, the synth parts are invaluable, and the keyboards are intriguing. Then the song starts to drag. At just under thirteen minutes, “The Descent” makes up the brunt of this three-part epic. I’ve heard many a progressive metal track that passes the ten-minute mark without batting an eye. This track had me checking to see how much time was remaining. While overlong, it is still a feat and definitely worth a listen. The final part, “Reflection,” is just that, a reflective instrumental with a mostly slow, somber electric guitar. It is not without fast parts as well. The almost flamenco guitars sound great, but I still would have been happier if they trimmed off the first and third parts.

Overall, this is a disappointing album with a couple of high points. The vocal work is excellent. There are definitely some musical decisions that I think bring the album down, mainly the instrumentals. The first and final songs sound promising. It’s just everything in the middle I found to be lacking.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 3
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Halls of Waiting (Oblivion)
2. Frozen in Time
3. Slavebranded
4. Shrine of Resurrection
5. Bregalad’s Lament
6. The Herald’s Approach
7. Reign of Fire
8. The Scarlet Gale (Part 1: Darkness Falling
9. The Scarlet Gale (Part 2: The Descent)
10 The Scarlet Gale (Part 3: Reflection)
Lineup:
Jason Lee Greenberg - Guitars, Bass, and Drums
Jennifer Greenberg - Vocals

Guest Musicians:
Gregg Rossetti - Saxophone, Keyboards, Orchestrations, Bass Guitar (Shrine of Resurrection)
Drew Creel - Guitar Solos (Reign of Fire, The Herald’s Approach)
John Yelland - Vocals (The Scarlet Gale (Part 2: Descent)
Valerie Hartzell - Classical Guitar (The Scarlet Gale (Part 3: Reflection)
Record Label: Independent
     


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