Single Review: Imperium - Iron Thunder
Reviewed by Gareth Pugh
Passion is key in any music, but that’s especially true for metal, and London based Imperium have it in spades. Coming hot on the tail of their self-titled EP from 2022 comes brand new single Iron Thunder, providing plenty of passion with a modern metal spin on a nautical theme.
Easing you in with a few seconds of escalating atmospheric tension, the drums and guitar explode into a stuttering beat, before they settle into a simmering rolling groove. The band then throttle back somewhat, allowing Ben Porter’s vocals to take central stage as the verse slowly builds, while the chorus is real hooky affair, a bit more laid back, and a nice contrast to the verse. The music really gives you that feeling of being at battle at sea with a choppy, edgy feel to it, but it’s the song’s mid-section where it really takes off with a cool tempo change. Guitarists Scott Lomas and Hardip Sagoo churn out driving melodic riffs over the solid foundation of rhythm section of Ralph Comes (bass) and James Hawes (drums). This is where Porter really comes into his own, his soaring, powerful voice is full of emotion as he bellows out his message, a message which, well let’s hear it from the man himself...
“Lyrics wise I wanted to step away from songs about feelings and moments in life or death, so…. I decided to focus on something else and then it turned out to be about feelings and moments of life and death on a battleship, deep in the heart of the battle, going through the ups and downs of losing friends and winning small victories in the grand scheme of things… all whilst the middle ‘sang’ part hits at a notion that every man on that ship knows it’s futile and even if they destroy the opposition, a new enemy eventually rears its head in defiance…”
Hardip then plays a stunning, multifaceted melodic lead, and the rest of the band lets loose, then after a final verse and chorus, the song builds to a climax with some gorgeous elevating bass lines adding extra impact.
Iron Thunder is another great tune for the band to add to their ever-increasing repertoire, Oz Craggs at Hidden Track Studios has given the band their best sound yet, with a powerful, punchy guitar tone, a clear and forceful bass, and dynamic, textured drums. Often, and somewhat unfairly thrown into the thrash pot, (and don’t get me wrong, they can thrash it out with best), they have so many more strings to their bows, and if there’s any justice, these guys are going to be huge.