Released: 2004, Nuclear Blast
Gods, I'm such a sucker for this sort of stuff. In case you weren't sure, Melodic Death Metal is my thing, and Imperanon is my newest obsession. At an initial, casual listen, one may be tempted to label Imperanon as simply a Children of Bodom clone. Hell, as I was listening to the first couple of tracks, I was tempted to do this myself. Of course, I LOVE those fret-manglinging Finns, so that certainly isn't a bad thing, but I admit that the first couple of songs are VERY much in the vein of everything that comes out of Finland these days: fast and melodic, with tons of guitar/keyboard solos.
However, as good as the first half of STAINED is, the second half simply shreds! I'm not sure if these songs are some of the band's newer compositions, but they have so much more texture and memorability, including some awesome clean sung choruses. The best example of this is the track "Shadowsouls". This song is so good, I had to listen to it 3 or 4 times in a row. To this day, it's still the first song I play whenever I listen to
Other standouts include the groovy riffage of "Vein" (I Bleed)", the happy-bouncy In Flames-styled "Rhythm of Pain", and the emotional "Hollow Man". Will STAINED be labeled cliche? Sure, but when you have songs this infectious, you'll need a chisel to get the shit-eating grin off your face. Melodic Death Metal not your thing? Then stay the hell away from this record. For those who are like me and consistantly need their daily fix of Finnish/Swedish madness, Imperanon is a fucking force to be reckoned with, that's for sure. Outstanding, in my opinion.--mg