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On disc: Imperious

Varus - Mike Thompson - 7 stars


(Heretic Visions - 2011)

Here we have the debut album from German outfit Imperious. Entitled Varus, this album is a journey into history specifically dealing with the life of the Roman General Publio Quinctilius Varus and his defeat at the hands of Armenius at the Battle of Teutoberg Forest. Well, always one for some bloodthirsty history evoked in metal I put this album on with high expectations!

Imperious have been labeled as a black metal band but this tag does not really do the sound of the band justice. Far from being yet another black metal band Imperious have an epic sound rather more akin to first wave black metal such as Bathory. There are also strong hints of folk metal and a very large helping of post-Versus The World Amon Amarth-style melody contained herein.

Whilst some may criticize the lack of virtuoso skill on display in any of the eight songs on offer here I believe this would be a mistake. Imperious succeed in creating an atmosphere with their music, similar to my ears to that on Ex Deo's fantastic Romulus album. This is a tale of betrayal, war, victory and defeat and the band manage to reflect all this and more in the music on Varus.

Okay, so this album may not be up to the level of either Amon Amarth or Ex Deo. The vocals are a little flat and samey, although not exactly bad! Some of the songs, all but one averaging over seven minutes, do start to lose interest after a while. However, this is by no means a bad album and fans of any of the previously mentioned bands should find something to enjoy here. I look forward to more offerings from Imperious!

7 stars

Mike Thompson


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