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Imperium: Heaven Or Hell
Imperium - Heaven Or Hell Album Art

Imperium: Heaven Or Hell

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR
4.5/5.0

Fluent in musical genres from rock to jazz to metal, drummer Mika Brushane also has a successful solo project known as Imperium. Brushane writes all the music and lyrics, then plays drums, bass, keyboards, and adds backing vocals. On each album he's helped by a bevy of notable and talented vocalists and guitarists from the European musical theater. Heaven Or Hell is Brushane's latest and third Imperium album with guests including, to name a few, Robban Ernlund (Treat), Markku Kuikka (Agonizer, Kenziner, The Ragged Saints), Stefano Lionetti (Lionville), Mikey K Nilsson (Sapphire Eyes), Erkka Korhonen (Dark Sarah, Urban Tale)and Robbie LaBlanc (Blanc Faces). A complete list of song credits is available to download.

Mika Brushane - Click For Larger Image

Mika Brushane

Musically, Brushane and Imperium stick to their classic Eighties melodic hard rock in an AOR wrapper. Brushane writes songs that are large on guitar and vocal melody and harmony, rock rhythm and groove (featuring his impressive drumming), catchy choruses, and soaring guitar solos. Moreover, Brushane is very good at what he does. There's a constant consistency to his songwriting that results in solid and entertaining tunes.

The ten songs within Heaven Or Hell are no exception. Most songs have large, quick starts featuring the rhythm section, harmonious riffs, a dash of keyboards and, often, an initial rising guitar solo. Then the vocals climb aboard as the steady rock rhythm and groove propel the song to the quintessential epic guitar solo. You'll hear all these things with Lost In Yesterday, Invincible, Dreaming On, Heaven Or Hell, or Love Won't Let You Go. That last song is also an example of Brushane's keyboard input, notably the piano line. While all the songs receive some synth treatment, the keyboards loom larger within Save Me, Vision In A Dream, and Time Is Up. Considering personnel and production, Brushane's choice of vocalists is once more spot on, with fine performances from Robbie LaBlanc, Robban Ernlund, and new singer Paolo Ribaldini.

All in all, from start to finish, Mika Brushane and Imperium's Heaven Or Hell is another entertaining tour-de-force of AOR driven melodic hard rock. Easily recommended.




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The Bottom Line

All in all, from start to finish, Mika Brushane and Imperium's Heaven Or Hell is another entertaining tour-de-force of AOR driven melodic hard rock. Easily recommended.

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