Reviews

Imperial Age


IMPERIAL AGE
Title: New World
Format: Album + Live-Blu-ray/DVD
Label: Atlantean Records ltd.
Release: August 27, 2022

IMPERIAL AGE is one of the most successful international bands of Russian origin, which today has a multinational lineup and is based in Antalya, Turkey.

After turning down several record deals, they work independently and maintain a close relationship with their large worldwide fan base.

“New World” is the third album by IMPERIAL AGE – following “The Legacy Of Atlantis” (2018) and “Turn The Sun Off!” (2012). The new album “New World” will be released via their own London-based label Atlantean Records ltd.

IMPERIAL AGE, one of the most successful Metal bands of Russian origin is back against all odds!

Four years after the massive success of “Legacy Of Atlantis”, which sold thousands of copies, reached millions of streams and YouTube views and helped the formation to international fame, the multinational Symphonic/Power Metal sextet is back with its new opus magnum – “New World”.

This new album proved to be magical in every way:

During the crowdfunding campaign, which raised 188 % of the original amount needed, the musicians were hit by a tornado, unprecedented in the area, which chopped down a third of the forest where they were camping and writing songs, and completely destroyed their camp – though the musicians were hugely lucky that they themselves and all their equipment miraculously remained unscathed.

The choir’s preparations were so intense that the choir’s director and conductor, Taras Yasenkov, had to be taken by ambulance to a psychiatric hospital in the middle of the recording sessions, where he suffered a nervous breakdown – he has since fully recovered.

When the album was almost finished, the whole band laid down with Covid, and as if that wasn’t enough – a month later Russia attacked Ukraine and sent all plans to hell – forcing IMPERIAL AGE’s masterminds Alexander ‘Aor’ Osipov und Jane Odintsova to leave the country in a hurry after the band released an anti-war manifesto – interrupting the whole process of album production and release …

The lyrics of the third long player turned out to be frighteningly prophetic:

They deal with the quest for freedom and independence, the horrors of war, leaving home with no hope of return, and traveling through rough seas to distant shores – all the lyrics were written many months before all these topics became a grim everyday reality for the band.

As with most great things that involve a huge amount of super compressed energy, every step of the production of this album was achieved through a great effort by all involved:

composing the songs over many hours without food or sleep, long nights in the studio until sunrise, recording live orchestral instruments and choirs, countless rehearsals, hours and days of painting artwork, and many, many other things …

… but the musical end result sounds and ultimately feels the other way around:

upbeat, uplifting and powerful. It seemed as if IMPERIAL AGE were at the end, especially when Max Talion (drums) and Paul Maryashin (guitar) left the band.

But against all odds, the band regrouped, resettled and survived – even reaching new heights:

not only did they record what was missing, hire new musicians (Manuele di Ascenzo from Italy on drums and Kublai Kapsalis from Turkey on guitar), move their entire web store to Italy, release three singles and two music videos, land a headlining European tour for September 2022 – but they also donated a portion of the proceeds to needy Ukrainian families, despite being immigrants themselves.

All this – because of and with great support from their immense worldwide army of ultra-loyal fans, who continue to support IMPERIAL AGE with thousands of album purchases, millions of streams and hundreds of donations.

The result – albeit 3 months late – bristles with IMPERIAL AGE’s trademark powerful, uplifting, visionary Metal with orchestra, choir and 3 lead singers – and yet the band has recorded their happiest, heaviest and most adventurous album yet!

Every single song on this album is a hit, and there are simply no ‘B-sides’ or weak tracks. “Legend Of The Free” is one of the fastest and most upbeat Power/Folk Metal hits in the group’s latest collection, with strong lyrics about the pursuit of freedom, while the philosophical “The Way Is The Aim” is a dance song about finding your own way, with Jane Odintsova switching from operatic to rock vocals.

The murderous, lyrically somber anti-war anthem “The Wheel” is a must for all future live sets with its fast beat, catchy chorus and Aor’s high-pitched vocals, while “Shackles Of Gold” immediately conjures up the image of pirates of the Caribbean wreaking havoc on Tortuga in the name of freedom.

Now you might think that 8 tracks are not much – but not in this case. The crown jewel of this album is the epic, dark, immensely powerful and colossal Metal symphony “Call Of The Towers”, which despite its whopping 18+ minute playing time manages to hold the listener’s attention by constantly shifting from an explosive Hollywood-style wall of sound, that pushes every instrument and vocalist to their limits, to acoustic tavern ballads, Bachian organ solos, and even 3 minutes of pure Sympho Black Metal with atonal chords, and a deeply somber atmosphere where male, female, and choral vocals constantly alternate.

All songs are sung by the three lead singers Aor, Jane Odintsova and Anna Kiara – plus a full academic choir as well as live orchestral instruments. “New World” overwhelms the listener with polished and precise songwriting, highest musical level, enormous variety of vocals and instruments – all this paired with the heaviest Metal sound IMPERIAL AGE have delivered so far – and the new work proves once again why IMPERIAL AGE are so successful, although so many circumstances speak against them and they don’t even have a record company behind them!

TRACKS:

  1. Windborn 03:40
  2. Legend Of The Free 04:17
  3. The Way Is the Aim 04:01
  4. Shackles Of Gold 04:02
  5. The Wheel 04:14
  6. To the Edge Of The Known 03:40
  7. Distant Shores 04:44
  8. Call Of The Towers 18:12

total: 46:50 min.

 

LINE-UP:

Alexander ‘Aor’ Osipov • Vocals
Jane Odintsova • Vocals
Anna ‘Kiara’ Moiseeva • Vocals
Kublai Kapsalis • Guitar
Dmitry Belf • Bass
Manuele Di Ascenzo • Drums

 

New World Tour – Europe September 2022:

01/09 – WEINHEIM (DE) – Café Central
02/09 – PARIS (FR) – Le Petit Bain
03/09 – BREE (BE) – Metal Babes Festival
04/09 – LYON (FR) – Rock’n’Eat
06/09 – BARCELONA (ES) – Sala Boveda
07/09 – MADRID (ES) – Sala Rockville
08/09 – LISBON (PT) – RCA Club
09/09 – PORTO (PT) – MetalPoint Club
10/09 – BILBAO (ES) – Stage Live
11/09 – TOULOUSE (FR) – L’usine À Musique
13/09 – MUNICH (DE) – Backstage
14/09 – DUSSELDORF (DE) – Pitcher
15/09 – UBACH PALENBERG (DE) – Rockfabrik
16/09 – ARNHEM (NL) – Willemeen
17/09 – WETZIKON-ZURICH (CH) – Hall Of Fame
18/09 – MANTOVA (IT) – Arci Tom
20/09 – BREE (BE) – Ragnarok
21/09 – SIEGBURG (DE) – Kubana
23/09 – ROTTERDAM (NL) – Baroeg

Imperial Age – Legend of the Free

Imperial Age – The Awakening (OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO)

Imperial Age – The Monastery (OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO)

Imperial Age links:
Band/Artist location – Moscow, Russia
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