Released: 2005, Lion Music
Like me, some metalheads might be familiar with the name Bob Katsionis, but aren’t quite able to place it. Well, it seems that aside from being Firewind’s full-time keyboardist, Bob also plays in Nightfall (starting with their I AM JESUS release) and has appeared as a guest musician on a bevy of other projects. However, it is Imaginery that is Bob’s own personal project. As far back as 1996, Bob attempted to get the band (then under the name Mirage) off the ground but only managed to get a debut album called OCEAN’S DIVINE out in 2001. Then, because of Firewind and Nightfall, Imaginery fell by the wayside.
Now in 2005, only Bob remains from the lineup that played on the debut. With Tears of Anger singer Bjorn Jannson in tow, Imaginery has returned with a blazing slice of heavy melodic power metal. Beginning with the speed volley of “Hypnotized”, the band serves notice that they are heavier than your average power metal band. Highlighted by Bob’s blazing guitar riffs and leads, along with Bjorn’s powerful vocals, “Hypnotized” is a great mission statement for the band. The closest musical reference point I can compare Imaginery to is the great Symphony X. Imaginery are not as progressive as the Americans, but they carry the same moodiness and menacing guitar tone.
Thankfully, all is not speed and screaming. The band mixes things up with the melodic yet morose “Roughly Scratched but Alive” – a song about a surviving war-veteran’s regrets – and the brooding “Korozon (The Lord of Evil). And while the whole album carries a slight heard-it-all-before vibe, the music is played with enough conviction that it’s enjoyable.
If this is the caliber of metal that we can expect from Imaginery going forward, then here’s hoping that it’s not another four years before Mr. Katsionis finds the time to record again.