Last year Impera released their critically acclaimed debut album Legacy Of Life, but after its release nothing really happened with the band. Their record company, however, was so happy that they wanted another album out real quick so the band started to write new songs even before the debut was out. But there were lots of us who liked the album that wondered how the band would turn out live and frankly, it kind of looked like Impera would be just a studio project. So the booking of the band to this festival was one of the highlights for me. It felt kind of cool to witness the first gig ever by this band and I was really curious to hear how they would sound – apparently the band had only rehearsed twice as a band before this gig. That might sound a bit nonchalant, but these guys are busy musicians and it’s hard to get their schedules to fit. But it was easy to hear that the few rehearsals didn’t affect their playing one bit. They opened their gig with a newie, “Beast Within” and it set the standard for the show. Their 70’s based melodic hard rock that on record sometimes borders to AOR, gets a new life in a live situation. They mixed stuff from the debut like “Turn My Heart To Stone”, “More Than Meets The Eye”, “Break The Law” and “Dead End Streets” with never before heard tracks from their up-coming (a October release, apparently) second album, songs so new that I don’t even have song titles. What can be said, though, is that Impera’s music feels like it’s written for a live environment. Now, there were of course, minor technical complications, but nothing that really bothered us. I’m thinking, if Impera could sound this good after just two rehearsals, then imagine what a beast they would be after some touring. The band closed the show with their cover of “Goodbye” from Paul Stanley’s 1978 solo album – and what a great cover that was. It’s not an odd choice when you think about the fact that drummer and band leader JK Impera (aka Johan Kihlberg) once was the president of Kiss Army Sweden and bass player Mats Vassfjord is a huge Kiss fanatic. It’s also really nice to state that guitarist Tommy Denander, who usually works as a studio player, looked really relaxed and comfortable on stage. Singer Matti Alfonzetti just owned the stage and is just as great a frontman as he is a singer. First gig ever out of the way and they really pulled it off big time. Hope we get to see them again really soon.
To read the review for Impera’s debut album Legacy Of Life – click here >>>