Imperial Age is a band from another universe that resides in Moscow, Russia. The Symphonic Metal band has brought the best of the orchestral classical music and fused it with a very fine re-defined Heavy Metal sound, to create a medium perfect for story-telling music and Rock Operas. The band released two studios so far, the second, released in 2018, being our subject of interest in this article.
Below is FemMetal’s review for Imperial Age‘s 2018 album, ‘The Legacy of Atlantis’, followed by an interview with the band’s vocalist, Jane Odintsova.
‘The Legacy of Atlantis’ is a 48-minute long album divided into 9 songs, telling a tale set in middle-ages Europe around a character called Avva Rama, who possesses the legacy of the advanced pre-historic civilization of Atlantis. We will say no more about the story and leave it for you to discover that amazing tale.
The album features guest musicians from Swedish band Therion, such as the vocalist Thomas Vikström, Russian band Arkona, and Moscow Conservatory Chamber Choir.
Below are five things we loved about ‘The Legacy of Atlantis’.
Single Unit Vocals and Masterpiece Choruses
The album has 3 band vocalists, a guest vocalist and a choir. The vocals are so greatly arranged you feel a flaw in every song and a musical climax at every chorus. Some might feel a band with three vocalists is a bit crowded, as the classical formation suggests one at that post. However, all three vocalists perform as a single unit, providing each part of each song the momentum it needs. My favourite choruses were on the titular song, The Legacy of Atlantis.
Quality and Quantity
The music on the album is another remarkable thing. The melodies were varying in tempo, heaviness and darkness. We can find softer songs such as Life Eternal and heavier ones such as The Awakening. We can find slow ones as The Monastery and faster ones as The Escape. You can make a whole album of quality music, but if these variations did not exist, the album would be boring. ‘The Legacy of Atlantis’ had both quality and quantity in terms of melodies.
Imperial Age took their concept to every edge of the album. We’re not only talking about the gorgeous costumes that were brilliantly designed by Jane Odintsova herself, or the artwork. The album as a whole is conceptually directed towards telling a story. And it can be seen in every melody and every word in the album. There are no ‘Starbucks cup in Westeros’ incidents.
Every good album has one or more songs that remind you of the whole album and create an identity for it. The Monastery is one of these songs. The melody, vocals and solo are all reasons to be in love with that song.
Symphonic Metal, as per definition, is Heavy Metal with elements from classical orchestral music. The sound of Imperial Age in ‘The Legacy of Atlantis’ is not like any Symphonic Metal album I’ve ever heard. At certain moments you feel it’s actually an Orchestral Symphony with Heavy Metal elements. The Awakening is an example of that. There is a continuous orchestra playing behind a tenor, a soprano and a mezzo-soprano along with riffs and solos.
There isn’t a thing we didn’t like about ‘The Legacy of Atlantis’. However, there are something we would have loved to see. For example, additional growling vocals would have taken some songs to another level. Another thing is that some melodies were too good and could have been repeated throughout their songs to make the 48 minutes of pleasure even longer.
FemMetal recommends ‘The Legacy of Atlantis’ for all Symphonic Metal, Melodic Metal, and Rock/Metal Opera fans.
Here are the average of the ratings that were placed by the FemMetal Team.
|Cover Art (10%)||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||8/10|
We had the pleasure to speak with Jane Odintsova about Imperial Age, their sound and many other things!
Mirk: Hello Jane! I’m very happy to talk with you! How are you and the other Imperial Age members doing?
Jane: Hi! It’s a pleasure for me too! I can’t say for the others, but I’m doing great – continue resting after our last EU tour and charging batteries for the upcoming season ) The last time I saw the others was at the shooting of Imperial Age’s new music video (on 28th of July) and everyone was alive, happy and drunk.
Mirk: You have released two studio albums so far, the latest being “The Legacy of Atlantis”, released last year. Are you happy with the results of ‘The Legacy of Atlantis’ or do you feel there are things you could have done better?
Jane: There is always a place for improvements but it is an unending way to perfection. We are happy with what we’ve done on this album 🙂
Mirk: Your band’s name and themes and artwork are all based on the past days. Do you feel that this bounds you in certain places to certain topics?
Jane: Our main theme is prehistoric civilizations, the evolution of human consciousness and magic, that’s true. This is what I and Aor had in mind when we were thinking about the band’s name. We chose this topic ourselves, this is what we want to talk about with our listeners. It would be strange if we suddenly started writing lyrics about politics, so yes we are bound to certain topics 🙂
Mirk: We have seen many bands with a growling vocalist and a female soprano or a tenor and a soprano. But you are one of the few bands that present two female vocalists, alongside a male vocalist, and it’s a wonderful touch. What are the differences between your voice and Anna’s and how does their presence together enrich Imperial Age’s music?
Jane: It is much more interesting for a composer to write not only for one voice but to have freedom with 3 or more different voices (our main composer is Aor and he has told me this many times). According to classical music terminology, Anna is a Soprano (high female voice) and I am a Mezzo-Soprano (low female voice), but I don’t like these labels. I can sing a bit lower than she, and she can sing a bit higher than me, but in the end, it is the question of the shade of the voice. Anna’s voice is lighter, while mine is darker and heavier. We were thinking about adding a low male voice (Aor is a Tenor – a high male voice) but decided that we are not ready for a new member now )
Mirk: Do you remember the first time you performed on stage live for an audience? When was it and how did it feel?
Jane: It was in 2012 in Moscow at the first-ever Imperial Age show. Maybe other people remember such moments of their lives in detail, but I only remember (slightly) the venue and the fact that I was nervous (of course).
Mirk: Your band makes us travel back in time. But if you had the ability to actually travel in time, what age would you go to, or would you stay in our time?
Jane: Hehe 🙂 There are a few epochs I would like to see: the Carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era (I would love to walk among the gigantic forest ferns and horsetails), Ancient Atlantis at its best times and Ancient Egypt.
Mirk: You’re from Russia, a culturally rich country. Do you try to add elements from Russian traditional culture and music into your style of Symphonic Metal?
Jane: Some people say that we have some national elements in the music – however, even if that is the case, it was never done on purpose:) We are not about the Russian Empire, tsars and stuff like this, we are not playing folk music. Despite that, we do have a balalaika in two songs and we have one song in Russian. We also have 3 or 4 songs with bagpipes. But that does not make us a national band tied up to any existing country. We want to be totally international and we want to free ourselves from any political or cultural borders..
Mirk: You’ve been to lots of places in the world on tour with your band. What are some places you’d like to go to and perform at next?
Jane: I think America is the next place to visit – both North and South. I’ve never been there but I somehow know that it will be wonderful!
Mirk: You have a big fan base on social media. What issues and causes would you use your ability to reach people to promote and talk about?
Jane: I don’t want to transmit any concrete ideology. I have always been, am and will be in favour of health, sport, love and not being an asshole (which can happen in many ways). Sometimes we as a band are asked to take part in some charity and we always do it because it is the right thing to do.
Mirk: Aside from music, what hobbies and interests do you personally have?
Jane: I’m a doctor by education and though I left that career when we started the band, I’m still interested in everything that happens in that field. I’m trying to stay aware of all the newest research in medicine, health, beauty, longevity and youth. I LOVE sport. Every year I go camping with my closest friends for about a month in some remote places in Russia (I really like sleeping in a tent, cooking on a campfire, collecting firewood in the forest, chopping it etc.). And I’m really interested in palaeontology. You see – in the end, it’s all about Nature and Life.
Mirk: Thank you Jane for your time and this interview!
Jane: Thank you for the interesting questions! Stay Metal \m/