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Review: Imperia - Secret Passion
Secret Passion

Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 60:40
Tracks: 13
Genre: Gothic Metal


Review online: May 20, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (6 Votes)

When I hear the term "Female-fronted Gothic Metal from The Netherlands," my first thought is of the band Autumn, surely one of the finest Dutch bands in existence. Imperia are similar only in nationality and general style. When it comes to the final product, they are much different.

Imperia's new album, Secret Passion, is a case of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Before I break those down, let me first say that does not apply to the performances or the production of the album. Both are excellent. It is the songs that I find so disparate. There's the Good: hard hitting, heavy, symphonic rockers "Touch of Your Hand" and "Secret Passion," plus the most "Gothic" track "Violence," with its quirky, yet instantly memorable chorus. The Bad: the Evanescence-inspired "Fragile" and "Suicide," which features highly effected vocals from Helena Michaelsen that are probably supposed to underscore the lyrics of the song, but are mostly annoying. I would put the boring ballad "Hold On" in this category as well. Then there's the Ugly. Secret Passion "ends" with another ballad, the male and female-sung "My Sleeping Angel," about a beloved infant. It is syrupy and cloying, but I get the point. Then, on the digipak version, which is the one I have, there is the bonus track "Mistress," a song that belongs on a Lady Gaga album. It is a sickening, electronic dance tune about whoring around with married people. I'm no prude, but who the hell thought it was a good idea to sequence "My Sleeping Angel" and "Mistress" back to back? Or put a dance track, no matter how heavy, on a metal album?

So there you have it. The songs on Secret Passion that I like, I really like. They are fun and enjoyable. The songs I don't like, well, you get the picture. Kudos to Imperia for trying some different things. Maybe next time some will actually work.

More about Imperia...
Review: Tears of Silence (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Last Horizon (reviewed by MetalMike)
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