November 15, 2020

Imperium is a new project put together by the versatile Finnish drummer Mika Brushane (Strike), a musician equally at home with jazz as he is metal.

Brushane has developed the Imperium name as a vehicle for ’80s influenced AOR/melodic rock as he was compiling songs with his band Strike and needed a new and different outlet for them. He is an amazing musician too as he provides all of the drums, bass, keyboards and backing vocals on Heaven And Hell and has brought in a team of quality musicians to supply guitar and vocals including 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) with additional backing vocals from Susanna Eronen & Sini Heinil√§.

The ten tracks are near perfect examples of American ’80s melodic rock with the influence of Journey being most prominent. The mixture of guitarists and singers doesn’t disturb the flow of the album as can sometimes happen and everyone has fully bought into the project with the album being suffused with great songs, plenty of hooks and all are delivered perfectly by the singers and with some pretty amazing guitar too.

Mika Brushane hasn’t tried to re-invent the melodic rock wheel as, to be fair, there is very little to introduce to the genre that we have not seen before but he has concentrated on producing songs steeped in ’80s Americana and he and his team of musicians have done this very well. The album is mixed by Erkka Korhonen and mastered by Mika Jussila with Mika Brushane on production duties and all have done an excellent job with the fine AOR album.

Heaven And Hell track list

  1. Love Won’t Let You (feat. vocals Robbie LeBlanc & guitar Stefano Lionetti) (4:16)
  2. Heaven Or Hell (feat. vocals Markku Kuikka & guitar Erkka Korhonen) (4:44)
  3. Road To Paradise (feat. vocals Robbie LaBlanc & guitar Erkka Korhonen) (4:42)
  4. Vision In A Dream (feat. vocals Robbie LaBlanc & guitar Mikey K Nilsson) (5:04)
  5. Dreaming On (feat. vocals Robban Ernlund & guitar Mikey K Nilsson) (4:15)
  6. Save Me (feat. vocals Robbie LaBlanc & guitar ‘Toni Huovinen) (4:25)
  7. Higher Than The Sky (feat. vocals Paolo Ribaldini & guitar Stefano Lionetti) (4:20)
  8. Invincible (feat. Vocals Paolo Ribaldini & guitar Samuli Federle) (4:24)
  9. Time Is Up (feat. vocals Paolo Ribaldini & guitar Samuli Federle) (4:34)
  10. Lost In Yesterday (feat. vocals Markku Kuikka & guitar Samuli Federley) (4:26)