For The Imperium

For The Imperium

Written by: TL on 28/05/2012 22:37:22

Is it just me, or is their something curious about naming your band (and your new album for the matter) "For The Imperium" when total and utter musical anarchy seems to be the sole aim of your music? This consideration strikes me midway through my ??th listen of the self-titled album by the Finnish quartet who are indeed called For The Imperium, and the reason I've come to this consideration is likely found along the route through which the album has brought me to it.

Starting on opening duo "Ignite" and "Creator" with a maelstrom of chaotic metalcore in the veins of Dillinger Escape Plan and Protest The Hero, For The Imperium gradually give way to their poppier tendencies, allowing singer Hakim Hietikko to change his piercing scream into a sharp, M. Shadows-ish clean and lay down some sensible choruses amidst the destruction wrought by the guitar, drums, bass and samples so far. "California Girl (Born N' Raised)" then follows on a more straight forward, somewhat industrial path, providing an easier single type song likely catering to people who would otherwise go "WTF?!" at the band's typical sound.

Except, what is this band's typical sound? "For The Imperium" certainly struggles against the answering of this question, as fourth track "Hero" provides an atmospheric, spoken worded interlude, which gives way to "Until The End", which sounds like a score to an animé western from the 80's (if such things exist?) before morphing back a moment of dramatic, abrasive metalcore - now alá Chiodos or Alesana - in the middle of the song, offering some of the most interesting moments of music presented so far by the way.

So yeah, that takes us roughly to the album's midsection, and as "DieDead" starts sounding like a cracked cd, moving on through more breakcore into a spell of blackened symph-metal, I'm sure you'll start to follow how I've come to attribute For The Imperium with anarchist tendencies that contradict their name. And in one way, these tendencies make the band's album a highly fascinating proposition, because if your attention can hold on during the wild ride, the record will give you one mindblowing "wow, what just happened there?!" moments than pretty much any other record you're like to hear coming out at the moment. Even better, there's a catchy refrain for pretty much every track, lending each a relatively easily memorable signature.

What bothers me about this is that, while I'm sure For The Imperium would say that this is sort of the point, I can't help but to think that the album's deficiency in the department of "making much sense, if any at all" eventually becomes a weakness for it. For The Imperium flash brilliant moments on many an occasion as you trip through their album, but the spasms of violent chaos-core never connect the dots in a manner more constructive than in a simple wild part/melodic part/wild part/melodic part dynamic. You can map out verses and choruses here and there, but it's hard to argue that one builds into the other, so much as one just fixes one moment for the next to look extreme in relation to.

The question is, what is one to eventually make of such calculated insanity? On one hand, it's a refreshingly unpredictable listen, and the band makes great sounding ventures into stylistic areas most others wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole these days, but it's hard to really feel them because you have the constantly pressing thought that they're being crazy just for the sake of being crazy, and that there's no more interesting structure to find here than that. If such critical considerations don't normally come between you and music that's way out of the ordinary however, give For The Imperium a spin. I for one admit to being mildly intrigued at the least.

7

Download: Creator, Until The End, Working Class Heroine, Pike River
For The Fans Of: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Protest The Hero, old Chiodos, Mindless Self Indulgence, Dog Fashion Disco... in a blender, rolling down a face of sharp cliffs and so on
Listen: facebook.com/fortheimperium

Release Date 15.05.2012
Warner/Lifeforce

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