Review Summary: Strong instrumentation overshadows unoriginality as “Stained” proves to be a decent debut by Imperanon.
Aleksi Sihvonen -Vocals/Guitar
Teemu Mäntysaari- Guitar
Aleksi Virta- Keyboard
Aki Hopeasaari- Bass
Jaakko Nylund -Drums
Imperanon’s lone release goes about cloning the Children of Bodom sound admirably. Never before in the history of heavy metal has one band sounded so alike another. As impossible as it sounds, Imperanon makes Kalmah and Norther look like avant-garde bands when it comes to innovation. However, the reason the big red 3.5 hangs on the left corner of the screen is because these guys manage to infuse the power metal/growling vocal formula with excellent song writing.
The opener “Blade” showcases every aspect of the Imperanon sound: noodling lead guitars that run through the entire scale, power metal drumming and harsh vocals. The keyboards enjoy a significantly more important role in the music and while Aleksi Virta isn’t quite Children of Bodom material, he does a neat job here. Aleksi Sihvonen’s vocals are as passable as they are in Norther’s “Circle Regenerated” but don’t detract from the music.
The guitar work is top-notch and many songs in “Stained” possess infectious riffs and can become instantly memorable. “Memories In Ice” and “Sold” are catchy and have good playback value. The opening riff to the latter is well written and along with the keyboards helps in making the song a standout track. The clean male vocals in “Hollow Man” are a nice touch while the female vocals in the exemplary “Shadowsouls” are very well placed and fit brilliantly with Sihvonen’s growls.
One cannot expect to ape a popular sound and make a successful album if it isn’t backed up with decent song writing and strong musicianship. Imperanon do well to craft good songs and execute them clinically. While Imperanon’s demise won’t be a great loss to the metal community,” Stained” ensures that they will be more than just a foot note in the Kalmah/Norther genre of melodic death metal.