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Imperial Age - New World Award winner

Imperial Age
New World
by Kevin Lewis at 03 October 2022, 2:57 PM

IMPERIAL AGE is a Russian band that has relocated to Turkey after voicing anti-war sentiments online, placing themselves in the crosshairs of an authoritarian government and needing to move to safety. Part of this experience is captured in the story told on their new album, “New World”. This epic tale was released on their own label, Atlantean Records on August 27, 2022.

From the opening of “Windborn,” you just know this is going to be Symphonic Power Metal with a cinematic sensibility to it. Using three vocalists, the music has a diverse, yet coherent, sound that compels the listener to drink in everything the story has to offer. Voicing different characters and creating an immersive blend of textures within the music, these three singers transcend standard chorale groups by weaving around each other to build the story up and to new heights.

“Legend Of the Free” has added strings right up front in the intro to give a more symphonic tone to the song, though they do drop out for the first verse. “The Way Is the Aim” continues the tone, driving hard into the Hard Rock/Pop stylings with the higher register work within the guitar riffs and rhythms. IMPERIAL AGE does not stick to the heavy end of the Power Metal realm, instead drifting more into the Rock end of the genre, making their sound more radio friendly and accessible to greater numbers of listeners.

Horns are added for “To the Edge Of The Known,” expanding the sound even farther. Keeping the vocals all clean, they stay away from the harsh sound bands like AMARANTHE, and LACUNA COIL bring in with multiple voices. The obvious choice is to stay well within the Symphonic Power Metal genre. “The Wheel” uses a series of different vocal combinations to keep the listener focused and wondering what single voice or grouping might come through next.

The requisite sea shanty is next. “Shackles Of Gold” begins with true nautical/pirate tones, providing another facet of the story while “Distant Shores” goes more for the power ballad sound from the beginning. With larger string instruments and horns, this is a bigger sounding song, yet has a great fit into the overall musical score.

Wrapping this album is the epic 18 minute “Call of The Towers,” which has everything the journey needs to be completed both musically and lyrically. There are Progressive Rock/Metal elements, which can hardly be avoided in a song this long. There are choirs and massive harmonies and poignant lyrics, giving this track the ability to tie the story together and bring the tale to its’ conclusion.

IMPERIAL AGE has charted new waters for themselves in many ways with this record. Theirs’ is a story of rebirth, a new beginning. Leaving a nation at war, shifting to a nation with different geo-political issues, trying to both write about a new world while moving to a new land must be difficult. The lyrics likely reflect their real-life struggles and turmoil.

Kudos to them for pulling this off. Many would take the time to regroup, to rethink what the next move, the correct path might be. IMPERIAL AGE seems to have put their lives to music and moved forward, successfully, and gracefully.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Windborn
2. Legend of The Free
3. The Way Is the Aim
4. To the Edge of The Known
5. The Wheel
6. Shackles of Gold
7. Distant Shores
8. Call of The Towers
Lineup:
Alexander “Aor” Osipov – Vocals
Jane Odintsova – Vocals
Anna “Kiara” Moiseeva – Vocals
Dmitry Belf – Bass
Manuele di Aascenzo – Drums
Kublai Kapsalis – Guitar
Record Label: Atlantean Records Ltd.
     


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