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Imago Imperii - Fate of a King

Imago Imperii
Fate of a King
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 16 August 2019, 5:07 AM

IMAGO IMPURII was formed in Bologna, Italy, in 2012. Following some live shows, they released their debut EP “War for the Iron Crown” in 2015, and their debut full-length “Legendaria” in 2016. Today, the band presents their sophomore album “Fate of a King,” with a new line-up. The album contains eleven tracks.

“The Tapestry” opens the album, with simulated orchestrations and a powerful, commanding guitar riff. It has a Power Metal feeling a bit for me, especially when the riff begins to gallop somewhat. “Saxon Warriors” opens with a flurry of lead guitars and the raspy vocals of Gwarner. It reminds me a bit of SABATON, both thematically and musically. The lead guitar parts are fantastic. “Kingdom’s United” opens with some keys and a long scream. This is definitely Power Metal…the constant grind of the drums, the ever-present keys, and the lead guitar parts are probably played through the bridge pick-ups of a Stratocaster.

“Fate of a King” opens with some vocal chants, leading to a slow, grinding song with an ominous sound. The harmonic vocals help to thicken up the sound a bit. The lead guitar takes a prominent role once again. “The Landing” is a short instrumental, with the sounds of a sea scape…waves crashing on the shore and seagulls chirping. “Battle of Stamford Bridge” opens with an easy listening guitar riff and the themes of war. The ominous tones speak of what is to come. The melodies here are strongest in the chorus. “Conqueror” is a mid-tempo number with a simple but effective riff. This song isn’t as memorable as some of the others however. “Marching for Hope” has that “Rocky” feeling in the opening sequence. Keys are prominent but that steady gallop of drums is getting a bit repetitive. There is a bit more energy here, mostly from the vocal performance.

“King’s Nightmare” is another short instrumental, featuring orchestrations and some guitar. Lüke really plays some fantastic arpeggios here, much like Yngwie Malmsteen. “Harold Rex” is the long song on the album, clocking in at just under nine minutes. It features a mixture of whispers and sung vocals, and some odd chord progressions. It has an unusual sound overall, something that is hard to describe. I do like the classical guitar passages however. “End of an Era” closes the album, with a charming piano passage in the opening. “We bled, we tried…” he croons. About a third of the way in, the sound comes in hard, like a power ballad of sorts. It builds to a crescendo with a flurry of lead guitar notes.

Overall, I just found that the album was sort of flat. It really didn’t feature enough emotional peaks or highs and lows to really grab me. Some of the songs were done well, while others failed to get off the ground. The lead guitarist, however, was absolutely fantastic. He really held the album together and without him, it would have been a much bigger disappointment. It was just mediocre for me overall.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. The Tapestry
2. Saxon Warriors
3. Kingdom’s United
4. Fate of a King
5. The Landing
6. Battle of Stamford Bridge
7. Conqueror
8. Marching for Hope
9. King’s Nightmare
10. Harold Rex
11. End of an Era
Gwarner – Vocals and Concept
Ivanhoe – Keyboards and Programming
Lüke – Guitars
Mick – Bass Guitar
Iskandar – Drums
Record Label: Lion Music


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