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Impera: Pieces Of Eden

A year down the line from their impressive debut Legacy Of Life, Impera are back with singer Matti Alfonzetti (Jagged Edge, Red White And Blues), drummer J.K. Impera (Bruce Kulick, Vinnie Vincent) guitarist Tommy Denander (pick a melodic rock act from the last decade and there's a fair chance he's been involved with it) and bassist Mats Vassfjord (Grand Design) now offering us Pieces Of Eden. The debut was a keen mix of Melodic Rock values and the Bluesy croon of Alfonzetti, making for a sound reminiscent of Jagged Edge, but with a harder hitting push and shove added to the mix.

Almost a year ago I suggested in the review of Legacy Of Life that in a world of never ending projects, hopefully Impera would go on to be an actual band and so it would seem with the four main protagonists all appearing again. Something also backed up by there being a less flashy guest list this time, numbering only Lars Chriss (Lion's Share) and Bob Kulick who both add guitar to the stellar cover of the Paul Stanley solo track "Goodbye". A fitting choice, with Denander having toured in Stanley's most recent solo band and Kulick having played on the 1978 original. However even with all these factors locked in place, where Pieces Of Eden fails to live up to its predecessor is in the songwriting department. Not by much mind, but enough to make the first few spins a bit of an anticlimactic journey, while still being an entertaining excursion.

Alfonzetti as ever oozes Bluesy class (he is still one of the most underrated singers in MHR), Impera still mans the kit with authority and Denander, well, he is beyond question the go to guy in this scene. However there's just a lack of bite and urgency about this album that leaves it a little flat. More uneventful than unsavoury, or more pedestrian than road kill. In fairness, had it not been for the debut effort being such a fiery little number, then maybe I'd be gushing about album number two, but with success comes expectation and that the Stanley cover stands out as possibly the best moment on this album says it all. Even if it always has been a stone cold classic.

Don't get me wrong, "You And I" still has an eye catching riff, "Since You've Been Gone" (no, not that "Since You've Been Gone"...) is a prime example of how to make a slow bluesy number sound classy and vital and "Smalltown Blues" growls and barks with authority. However even after spending a good few weeks with this album, there's little that sticks in the mind, or has you singing along.

A good, if unspectacular second outing from Impera that will still please fans of the debut album, it just won't blow them away. Having said that, I still stand by my earlier assertions that hopefully this band is a long term endeavour, which hopefully means we have a slightly fierier third effort from them very soon.

Track Listing
1. Beast Within
2. These Chains
3. All Alone
4. Smalltown Blues
5. Since You´ve Been Gone
6. Goodbye
7. Easy Come
8. You And I
9. This Is War
10. Fire And The Flame

Added: October 8th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Impera Online
Hits: 2936
Language: english

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