Friday, April 21, 2023

REVIEW : Imperium – Never Surrender (Release: 19.05.2023, Pride & Joy Music)

IMPERIUM is the 'baby' band/project of Finnish drummer & songwriter Mika Brushane. The project took 'flesh and blood' back in 2012 when Mika composed a song for the new STRIKE album entitled “We’re back” and realized that there were many songs by him that needed to be released. 

IMPERIUM during the following years released three albums through the melodic rock label of AOR Heaven (Dreamhunter – 2016, Beyond The Stars – 2018 and Heaven Or Hell – 2020) that all three are strong, powerful and extremely melodic stuff and are showing the improve of Mika as a musician but also the improve of IMPERIUM as a band.

There is an impressive guest list of some of todays top-notch musicians from the global melodic rock scene such as Robbie LaBlanc (T3nors, Find Me, Fury, Blanc Faces, East Temple Avenue), Michael Bormann (Michael Bormann’s Jaded Heart, Silent Force, Jaded Heart, Bonfire, J.R.Blackmore,Zeno, Bloodbound, Redrum, Rain), Stefano Lionetti (Lionville), Mikey K Nilsson (Arkado, Sapphire Eyes, Alyson Avenue, Anette Olzon, Bai Bang, etc.) and 
Joel Hoekstra (lead guitar on “The oneWhitesnake, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Cher, Night Ranger). 

The album kicks-off with, probably, one of the highlights out of this new opus; "The One" is just killer, flawed-to-perfection melodic rock gem that with Bormann's superb vocals, Hoekstra's killer guitar lines and this magical hook and chorus is one of this year's, so far, tunes!! "Never Surrender", "I Still Believe" and "Never Say Never" are all three great up-tempo, melodic-sticious and high quality tracks that the sure thing is that will put a wide smile upon the face of every AOR freak that loves its music edgy and with big harmonies!! With the "The Dream" Imperium delivers yet another superb slice of late 80's sounding AOR while with "Break The Spell" we have a tasteful edgy AOR song. 

Closing my review for this brand new IMPERIUM opus I have to say that Mike Brushane with "Never Surrender" delivers a well-crafted and very old-fashioned melodic rock/edgy AOR record filled in with a great late 80's vibe, strong performances and some killer tunes. Simple as that! 

Songwritting : 8
Production : 8
Songs : 8 
Musicianship : 9

Overall Rating : 8,25 / 10 


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