Abaddon magazine

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Review: Imperivm – Holy War

Label: Revalve Records

Date: July 3rd, 2020

I cannot quite recall, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a promotional photo of a band dressed as Roman legionnaires. Actually, they robes will probably stand for a much higher calling. Being a history enthusiast, and an especially great admirer of ancient Roman history, you can imagine how excited I was. Looking further down the information about “Holy War”, I saw their themes running along the same line. Not a regular occurrence within the metal world, you will agree. I’ve often wondered why there is not that many bands covering these topics. And Imperivm actually comes from Italy, which is a major plus in my book. I can rarely understand a band going for the foreign history or mythology, instead of their own.

Anyway, power metal is the name of the game. As expected, Imperivm is going for that epic feeling to paint the mental image of advancing Roman legions. You can easily relate “Holy War” to Rhapsody. Even Labyrinth, to an extent. However, I don’t get the march of legionnaires. This type of sound is way too attached to medieval dragon slayers and heroic kings of old. Perhaps another form of atmospheric approach was necessary.

Still, it takes little away from “Holy War”. The album is created according to standard. “A to Z” of power metal pattern is presented in full respect. Furthermore, even if Imperivm is nowhere near original, their third full length album is a very good example of the genre. I’m basing my judgement on the mere fact that I can actually remember a whole lot of parts after just a couple of spins. Even a couple of those catchy choruses are stuck in my brain with little chance of leaving. Might be all about my infatuation with history that makes me more attentive, but I don’t think so.

“Holy War” is based around the familiar duel between guitars and keyboards, supported by heavy hitting rhythm section. Of course, the vocals provide the color to the whole. Luckily, the man behind the microphone is far away from Fabio Lione. He doesn’t even attempt those high pitches, even if he does change registers quite often. Oh, and he has an excellent English accent, to the contrary of his famous country mate.

By the way, he presents himself as Spartacus Thracius… Bloody hell, I’m as impressed as it is humanly possible. The other members picked their pseudonyms accordingly, too. Now, that’s the way you make a complete picture of a band! Great job guys!

There’s really not much I can add to describe “Holy War”. I’m sure you all know what Italian power metal sounded like back in the second half of the ‘90s. This is exactly what you get from Imperivm. Only, instead of dragon lords, you have centurions leading their legions into battle. And as the Romans dominated their age, I can only hope Imperivm will go out and conquer! Oh, and it would be an amazing live performance too. No doubt!