IMPERIUM The Mika Brushane Project – Beyond The Stars (2018)
AOR Heaven Records have recently inked a new deal with Finnish Melodic Hard Rock project IMPERIUM and will release their new album “Beyond The Stars” on May 25th, 2018.
This is the solo venture of drummer Mika Brushane (Strike) which already delivered a great Imperium album three years ago. Now with new label and better distribution, “Beyond The Stars” is sure to please AOR / Melodic Hard rock fans worldwide.
While Brushane plays drums, bass and keyboards, he has guest artists from the European and Finnish music scene to help him put his music to tape. On vocals there’s well-known producer Dennis Ward, Markku Kuikka, Rob Lundgren, and Voice Of Finland winner Antti Railio. Guest guitarists include Erkka Korhonen, Samuli Federley, and Toni Huovinen.
Brushane and Imperium’s sound can best be described as Eighties style melodic hard rock properly wrapped in AOR accessibility. All the songs within are filled with an abundance of melody, harmony, plenty of catchy refrains and oodles of thrilling guitar solos.
Two tracks, one of them is the title track, see none but Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Unisonic) on vocals. This is one of the highlights here, with lovely keyboards all over.
Then the following ‘Crash And Burn’ adds more biting guitars and ‘that synths’. ‘Learning how to fly’ seems taken from any Scandinavian AOR album appeared in the second half of the ’80s, same with the ridiculously smooth midtempo ‘Spread you wings’.
Waht you can expect from a song titled ‘Back In ’85’? Pure Eighties stuff. While the vocals are rather rough and not completely convincing, the music is pure melodic hard rock ear candy, suitable as an arena anthem full a of great tinkling keys.
Another song ready to packed stadium is ‘World On Fire’, which has a huge percussive start from Brushane with a lingering light piano line underneath. The song builds with deliberate pacing to rip into strong guitar solo in the second half. And the guitar solos are a definite highlight to this album.
‘Just A Dream’, is a lighter tune, a midtempo AOR ballad, turns on a sweet synth layer, Brushane’s steady rock groove, and smooth vocals.
“Beyond The Stars” is a great slice of ’80s Melodic Hard Rock / AOR, think the Scandi / German sound circa 1985-1987. Lots of mighty keyboards, melodies all over the place and hooky guitars make you feel like it’s somehow 1985 again.
01 – Beyond the stars
02 – Crash and burn
03 – Learning how to fly
04 – Spread you wings
05 – Back in ’85
06 – King of the world
07 – All alone
08 – World on fire
09 – Just a dream
10 – Higher
Mika Brushane – drums, vst-bass, keyboards, backing vocals
Erkka Korhonen – Guitars
Samuli Federley – Guitars
Toni Huovinen – Guitars
Susanna Eronen – Backing vocals
Sini Heinilä – Backing vocals
Dennis Ward – Lead & backing vocals (Gus G, Khymera, Unisonic, Pink Cream 69, Place Vendome, Sunstrom, etc.)
Markku Kuikka – Lead & backing vocals (Kenziner, Status Minor)
Antti Railio – Lead & backing vocals (The Voice of Finland winner, Ex-Celesty)
Rob Lundgren – Lead & backing vocals, (solo artist, The Midgard project)