Imperium "Too Short a Season" CDPosted on Monday, June 6th, 2005 @ 1:30am » permalink
A few years ago one of my best friends called me up raving about some obscure technical metal CD that he had found – I think he got it for like $3 in a shit bin at some mall when he was at the beach or something. Anyway, this dude likes maybe five bands tops, so I figured it had to be good if he was actually into it. So I jotted down the band name and album title, and when I got off the phone I found the fucker on eBay for like $2, so within a couple of days it was mine for a grand total of less than five bucks. The band was Imperium, and the album was "Too Short a Season" – their only full-length, released in 1993 by Leviathan Records. There have probably been a ton of bands called Imperium over the years, but as opposed to the shortly lived all-star black metal band of the same name, this quintet hailed from Holland in the early-90's.
Formed by a couple of ex-members of Sacrosanct (whose records I ought to own but don't, damnit), Imperium delivered a technical and progressive form of thrash metal that's pretty shocking considering it came out in 1993 – it really sounds much more like something that would've hit the streets between '88 and '91. Admittedly they've got somewhat of a weak recording that's pretty thin, but it's worth getting used to for the weird ass songwriting! The material is aptly thrashy but balanced with an openly melodic side, dropping some great vocal harmonies as well as some of the squealing high-pitched action more associated with these types of bands (the same goes for the solos). Their totally wacky sense of dissonance and fucked up changes is perhaps lightly comparable to a more over the top Anacrusis, but the closer you listen to some of the song arrangements the more bizarre they seem. It may take a few listens, but trust me, this shit totally grows on you and becomes more intense and enjoyable as you gradually adjust to their approach.
Two former members of Imperium are presently in a new band called Sphere of Souls (so was the drummer , but he quit), who apparently recorded their debut full-length last month.
The material is slated for release sometime this year, but I can't for the life of me find any mention of what label it will be on, nor a website for the band. If anyone knows anything, please shoot me an email. (Edit: Several of the band members have emailed me to let me know that there is a website for Sphere of Souls. The recordings are almost complete and the band has yet to decide on a label, but a 2005 release is still planned.) I assume it'll be along similar lines, only more modern – but then again: In 1993 Imperium sounded like they would've been much more at home during the golden age of thrash, so maybe Sphere of Souls will pull another rabbit out of the ol' hat?
In the meantime, I'm blown away that you can still find brand new copies of this unnoticed gem from big name retailers, though your best bet is probably to go ahead and grab it used, because holy shit is it usually cheap:
Hopefully some of you cats who were into the Realm mp3's will dig this, too? Talk about "too short a season"… I really wish these guys had done another record.