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Imperium - Heaven of Hell

Heaven or Hell
by John Foley at 09 November 2020, 2:15 AM

"Heaven or Hell" is the third album from IMPERIUM which is the brain child of drummer and prime song writer Mika Brushane (of STRIKE fame). Through-out this album there are plenty of guest musicians from many different bands to help out with guitar and vocal duties on this melodic rock project. The opening track is “Love wont let You Go” which opens with a quick drum roll before diving into the music. A very upbeat sound from the start and a very strong 80’s rock feel to it, almost a little like VAN HALEN. But good lead guitar melodies and solo from Stefano Lionetti (of LIONVILLE fame).

Next up we get the title track “Heaven or Hell”. Some good riffing and lead guitar work from Erkka Korhonen (of DARK SARAH and URBAN TALE fame). The song has a very catchy chorus and is really pushing the 80’s feel with the keyboard work present and an up lifting sounding guitar solo. “Vision of a Dream” is a song with a slight different tone to the rest of what appears here so far. Some solid rhythm and guitar work from Mikey K Nilsson (of SAPPHIRE EYES fame). We get a big sounding chorus and a big sounding guitar solo as well. It is a pretty good song. “Save Me” brings us back to the up tempo 80’s feel good sound with the music present. Some good vocal work from Robbie LaBlanc (of BLANC FACES fame) with lyrics about looking for help from that someone special when you need to get out of a bad mental place.

Coming towards the end of the album we have “Tims is Up”. Another power ballad style song that seem to appear a lot here. Some solid rhythms again with vocals helping carrying the melody of the song. We get another big chorus and a keyboard section that leads to a guitar solo. And finally we have “Lost in Yesterday” to close out the album. The track opens with a guitar solo. You get a build from the verses to the chorus and we get another one of those sing-a-long choruses that are present through-out this album. The guitar solo manages to keep the tone of the song and just run with it.

After listening to Heaven or Hell, IMPERIUM seem to have a very 80’s rock feel to them, almost a little like VAN HALEN or TOTO. It can be kind of cheesy at times with a lot of songs having that power ballad feel to them. But what is interesting is having different vocalists and guitarists on each song with one fitting nicely into what is going on in the song. Even though nearly off of the tracks here follow a very similar song structure there are some very catchy, sing-a-long choruses through-out.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Love won’t let You Go
2. Heaven or Hell
3. Road to Paradise
4. Vision in a Dream
5. Dreaming On
6. Save Me
7. Higher than the Sky
8. Invincible
9. Time is Up
10. Lost of Yesterday
Mika Brushane – Drums, Bass, Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Robban Ernlund – Vocals
Markku Kuikka – Vocals
Stefano Lionetti – Guitar
Mikey K Nilsson – Guitar
Erkka Korhonen – Guitar
Robbie LaBlanc – Vocals
Record Label: AOR Heaven


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Edited 05 December 2020

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