Secret Passion

Written by: PP on 29/04/2011 03:51:46

It's so difficult to find a good release in the gothic metal genre these days - or at least one that isn't generic to the bone - that I've started to skip most bands sent our way in the genre, but here's one that impressed me enough to share my thoughts on it: "Secret Passion", the new album by the European band (all their members are from different countries) Imperia. You might recognize their lead singer Helena Michaelsen as the ex-singer to bands like Trail Of Tears and Epica.

At first, Imperia seem like your standard symphonic gothic metal affair. The theatrics are immense, creating stereotypical dramatic flair left and right. The female high pitch singer sounds like yet another Tarja Turunen clone complete with a classically trained operatic range. But fortunately Imperia have got two things going for them that separate them from the borefests known as German/Austrian/Swiss gothic metal bands: they know how to write memorable songs.

Opener "Touch Of Your Hand", for instance, not only sounds huge (like, Nightwish huge), but it features interesting electronic effects that add an extra touch to the orchestral instrumentation. It's bombastic, powerful and all the rage like that, and there's plenty where that came from. Then on the other extreme you have songs like "Secret Passion" that border mainstream pop so closely that you'll be forgiven for thinking "hey, is this Evanescence?". "Out Of Sight" is another such example where if it wasn't for the slightly heavier guitars and dreamy vocals, I'd be willing to bet money on I'm listening to the new Evanescence album.

A claim like that can be a terrible thing for the credibility of a band like Imperia, but in my opinion it signals a brave band not afraid to expand their fan base into unconventional places. It also ensures that there's variety on the disc - something which definitely cannot be said about 90% of gothic metal crap - and makes for some standout tracks. Lets just say it this way: if there's something gothic metal needs in 2011, it's standout tracks.


Download: Touch Of Your Hand, Secret Passion, Out Of Sight
For the fans of: Nightwish, Evanescence, Sirenia
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.03.2011
Massacre Records

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