This is one of the most chaotic and seemingly random releases ever to come this way. It is a manic maelstrom of ideas and imagination that is full of splintered sounds, scattered melodies and diversity as varied as the cultures of the world. Truly it should not work, the melding together of everything from rock and metal, through industrial, emo and onto pop and electronica but it surely does. Obviously it is not as random as one initially thinks either with more listens revealing that the creativity in For The Imperium’s composing let alone delivery is impressive and brave. It is not a 100% success but close enough and with the sheer pleasure it gives when it does work a few errors of judgement can be easily overlooked.
The Finnish band’s skill and uniqueness with their self-titled album is outstanding. At first the release throws the senses with so much going on in each and every song. Each track veers suddenly off the expected course, diving into unpredictable avenues and imagination and it is glorious. It just takes a couple of plays to let the element of surprise pass and the full grandeur of their release take over. Obviously, the album will not work for everyone, those liking a straight forward sound will leave bewildered shaking their heads, but within its surprising compositions there is something for everyone, and a full feast for those loving bands that experiment.
Where does one start with this when as mentioned there is so much deliberate well crafted chaos going on. The album itself erupts into a blitz of sound with opener ‘Ignition’, a song with a title that is apt as it triggers off the senses with the dazzling manipulation the whole album brings. The song throws acute progressive guitar sounds like darts at the ear whilst riffs crumble the defences and vocalist Hakim Hietikko leaps and soars note by varied note within the coarse mesmeric sound. With flavours of At The Drive In and Every Time I Die in their less aggressive moments the track is a constant delight.
As the track crawls away we are plunged into the pop rock world of ‘Creator’ offering an Avenged Sevenfold melodic cruise punctuated with djent styled riffs and rhythmic attacks. The track pulsates and beamed mischievously, another irresistible treat to devour eagerly.
For The Imperium grabs us by the scruff of the neck and leads us through track after track of charismatic and insatiable sounds, all primed to impose and consume. The excellent ‘California Girl Born N Raised’ striking a mix between the likes of Marilyn Manson and Dope and the western veined symphonic metal/rock ‘Until The End’ with the vocals moving from crooning through smooth to quality growls as unexpected and perfect as the music, are just one example of the extreme diversity on offer as they book end ‘Hero’ and its ambient symphonic tale. Though this middle track was one of only a couple that did not play with the ease and joy of the others, ‘OEsterbotten’ being the other, it is more down to personal preference than the band making a mess of things.
Other than the opening tracks the mighty beasts of ‘DieDead’, ‘Working Class Heroine’, and ‘Pike River’ stand out formidably. The first is a track meshing classic rock and harsh searing metal into one compulsive flow with added extras of black metal and progressive rock for spice. It carries an In Flames tone that leaps out at the ear firmly. The middle of the three is a punk/emo collision, think My Chemical Romance meets Coilguns and you get an idea of its deceptive yet stunning might. The third is a post hardcore/punk pounding with plenty of electronic colouring and another pulse racing pleasuring for the ears.
“For The Imperium” is a real pleasure though one knows it should not have been. Many bands try to create unbridled diversity within their songs and fail badly; then again they are not For The Imperium.