IMPERIUM – Dreamhunter
Strike drummer Mika Brushane felt the need to start this solo album, naming it as a band Imperium and enlisting the help of three homeland Finnish vocalists and multiple guitarists while handling drums, bass, keyboards, music, lyrics, and background vocals on these 11 songs. The material has a melodic metal meets 80’s hard rock feel – acts like Whitesnake, Europe, and Stratovarius come to mind depending on the feel of the song. Loads of hooks, layers of bright keyboards, and steady rhythms and tempos keep "Heaven Is Falling" and the power ballad "80’s Love Song" near the top of my brain.
Clichés abound – so the different vocalists (Pasi Rantanen, Markku Kuikka, and Nisse Nording) give the songs additional diversity, be it softer and smoother on the Pasi-led "Starlight" or very Coverdale-esque on the energetic opening title track. Must admit the lower production values threw me for a bit of a loop – the drum sound is distant while the keyboards is up front and center, probably more of a tighter budget issue than anything.
80’s melodic rock heads with occasional power references will dig "Dreamhunter".