Review: Imaginature “Imaginature”

Review: Imaginature “Imaginature”

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The end of the year for the Polish symphonic power metal band Imaginature was a landmark milestone – the release of self-titled debut album Imaginature. And from the first works this band has attracted a whole bunch of local musicians to perform and contribute their own ideas and inspiration. And without any help from the known metal labels these guys started their own promotion, trying to prove that real music will always be noticed and appreciated.

This band exists from 2015, but only after five years they’ve started recording the composed material which resulted in this well-considered and versatile album. Imaginature isn’t something terribly original or unheard before, no; these prudent musicians from Szczytno rely on traditional and canonical metal rules, getting inspiration from big classical names of the past. But combining heavy metal with symphonic power, classical music and ethnic motives, they’ve created something really delightful and affordable too. And even though there is some kind of progressivity in their music, and the arrangements sometimes are smartly molded, it still sounds so lightweight, without any kind of complications.

The level of epicness isn’t through the roof on this debut LP; on the contrary, it is located in the background with all these beautiful choirs and pompousness. Pipes are responsible for slight stylistic shifts, adding some ethnic saltiness, but without extreme inclination towards folk metal (“Edge” and “Shade Enchantress”). Sometimes the keyboards sound way too old school, making some references to prog/art rock of 1970s. The catchiest songs are also the fastest, and it is the place where the power metal is in its prime. There’s always some space left for symphonic elements, but regardless, these are not dominant on this record. A medieval influence is also common for power metal, and the self-titled track “Imaginature” transforms this medieval energy into heroic and tragic power hymns (actually, the real emotional power metal makes heroes and tragedies equal). The romantic mood is represented on composition “Through the Cellar Door”, and we can blame classical piano for these melancholic and romantic outbursts. And what else is important about this release, is that it is tremendously optimistic and full of hope (but usually power metal has extremely positive aura).

The invited guest musicians are also one of the tastiest parts on Imaginature, thanks to them, we have different perspectives and viewpoints. Now they have a permanent singer Gaia, but back then they had four of them! The main voice of Kostyantyn Naumenko fits perfectly well into symphonic power, but Trzeszcz adds some extreme vibes on “Renegade”. Anna Dembowska is in charge of classical academic singing, beautiful, but non-emotional. But Margo Moyra doesn’t fit well into operatic realm, “Near the End” sounds way too naughty and playful. Who knows how they will manage to diverse the vocal patterns with their new line-up, will it be enough to satisfy the lovers of their first release? Or maybe we will have again a formidable list of guest musicians?

Power metal is one of the most thankless and mocked genres of metal, and it is also one of the most old school and poorly suited for experiments, so it’s not so easy for young bands to find their own uniqueness and to present their special skills. Imaginature started their musical journey confidently with a focus on traditional values, but with a little bit of imagination, and their debut album proved quite an enjoyable experience.

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