Thursday, August 10, 2023

Full Length Review: Imperial Age "New World" (Atlantean Records ltd.) by Dave Wolff

Location: Antalya
Country: Turkey
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Full length: New World
Format: Album, live Blu-ray/DVD
Label: Atlantean Records ltd.
Release date: August 27, 2022
Many reviewers have praised Imperial Age's third effort “New World” for its scope and brilliance... is it really deserved? Upon listening for myself, I was immediately struck by a wall of sound that transported me to a long journey across the ocean. Not just one ship, but an entire fleet of them extending across the horizon as far as the eye can see. Dawn is breaking over the horizon and gods of war are watching from somewhere in the universe. A search for enlightenment unlike any other I’ve undertaken.
“New World” is a work of huge songwriting, musicianship, and production... conceived by the band amid natural disasters, pandemic issues, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In light of the outbreak of war, the lyrical concept, arranged months in advance, seemed to be somewhat prophetic. The band persevered in releasing the album despite these obstacles together with a sudden change in their lineup. That they received endless acknowledgments for their efforts shows they’ve been well rewarded.
It seems there hasn’t been an album of this magnitude, extravagance, and variety since Elend released “Les tènèbres du dehors” in 1996. “New World” features classically tinged traditional instruments, imposing keyboards, dramatically theatrical musicianship, and orchestral, choir-like performances from three vocalists. “New World” will appeal to listeners of Nightwish, Epica, and Powerwolf; while these are excellent bands they don't appear to come close to this talent, intensity, and imagination.
Though most of the songs are between three and four minutes, they seem much longer due to everything crammed into them. The songs each contain a different theme without deviating from the concept and aim to expand far beyond their boundaries from within. With enough hooks so it’s easily catchy and remains with you long after, this album is a perfect example of a band reaching beyond their niche with little more than the resources they have, finding new ways to express the growth potential inside. It’s near impossible to do “New World” justice with these descriptions; it's truly something you need to experience firsthand.
Following the release of this album, the band released a live DVD/Blu-ray entitled "Live New World" from an online performance on December 26, 2021. While I have not yet seen this, I imagine it will be similar to watching a live orchestra. –Dave Wolff

Alexander 'Aor' Osipov: Vocals, keyboards
Jane Odintsova: Vocals, keyboards
Anna 'Kiara' Moiseeva: Vocals
Dmitry Belf: Bass
Manuele Di Ascenzo: Drums

Track list:
1. Windborn
2. Legend Of The Free
3. The Way Is the Aim
4. Shackles Of Gold
5. The Wheel
6. To the Edge Of The Known
7. Distant Shores
8. Call Of The Towers

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