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Imperia - Tears of Silence

Imperia - CD Review
Tears of Silence

Imperia - Tears of Silence

CD Info
Massacre Records
13 tracks
English / Norwegian lyrics

Music in this genre, as in other styles of music, can come from many different motivations. Some want to make a dark statement, some want to look at ethereal issues, some want to address other issues of importance to the musicians. But, occasionally, we encounter a release that has its basis in intense personal emotion. Well, this release comes from a deep and very personal interaction with reality, one that touches at the very core of the lovely lead vocalist. Helena has been in this business for a long time, her vocals are known to most of us and she has certainly been a favorite of mine for a long time. So, I’ve maintained an interest in her personal life as well as her professional activities.

Unfortunately, there have been some bumps in the road. I remember one occasion when I was asked to write a letter to the king on her behalf regarding a situation in her neighborhood. There was another Sonic Cathedral guy involved and I gladly did what I could on Helena’s behalf. But, in the last 18 months things seem to have gone in a far more dangerous direction. Now, we never know exactly what has transpired, so I won’t go so far as to make subjective decisions regarding Helena’s situation, but, I regard her as a friend and we tend to stick by our friends. I’ve asked Helena to address the situation and she did so in an extended e-mail communication. The long and the short of it is that Helena has been involved in some rather intense interactions with a variety of interests. She suggests there were significant personal attacks on her person and that, when she fought back, her daughter was taken from her.

Now, I know enough about the relationship between Helena and her daughter to know that nothing could be more traumatic than that, and the situation has not gotten any better. It’s been a very difficult time for the lady, one that shows no signs of being resolved in the near future. And, it’s in this crushing environment that the present release was written and produced. The music captures the anguish Helena has been experiencing and does it in a manner that is both profound and beautiful. We get that in the music and the lyrics, we get it in the emotion and the feeling that comes through loud and clear on this soaring release. Helena at times presents a sound that is almost heartbreaking; anyone who has had the experience of a lost child, or one in the presence of danger, will recognize the sound. And, it is this sound that is the essence of Tears of Silence.

Well, that’s what the release is about. But, beyond that, this is a solid production. It’s hard to imagine a bad release from this artist, she is one of the premiere vocalists in the genre and has been for a very long time. Her band is superb, one of the best. Imperia has been producing solid material in this genre for a long time. Consequently, one would expect nothing less than excellence from this group.

The release begins with Silence is my Friend. This one pretty much gives us everything we can hope for in this approach to the genre. This is solid Symphonic Operatic Gothic from one of the best ever. And it opens up a vision to where this release is going, a vision of the pain our vocalist is experiencing in her personal life:

Silence my friend / Closed mouth, open eyes

Can you read them? / Silence my friend

The only one who was there (who was there)

When my tears / Were falling down like rain / The silence were my only friend


I don't believe in god / Cause he never told me
What is wrong or right / Wrong or right

The only one who was there (who was there)

There’s some 13 tracks on the release, I can’t find a bad one. It just goes on, better and better. Even if you’re not aware of the tragedy behind the lyrics you just love the music. There just aren’t better vocalists in this genre, and when the subject is as close as this one is, you get Helena’s best. Tracks like Broken (When the Silence Cries) are pretty much what this genre is all about. There’s metal to soothe the savage beast, the vocals are as good as it gets, but, if you listen closely, you hear the message:

There is beauty / Even in the heart of the beast
Behind the facade / And behind the mask

There is the real heart / And the friendly face / (A friendly face)
Behind the facade / And behind the mask

Save me, I'm falling / Catch Me, I'm falling
Hold me, I'm falling / My soul is dying

Broken, I'm broken / And when the silence cries / Looking through the window
And every night the stars / Light up the darkest sky tonight I know you see the same

One of the more interesting tracks is done in, I assume, Norwegian. It’s called Friheten Vil Seire and this is the first time I can remember the lady singing in her own language. It’s a haunting sound, one that seems to take us to another track that goes in a similar direction, The VikingSong. This is Viking music, the kind of thing I heard so often on the 71,000 Tons of Metal cruise which featured a lot of Northern European music. But, this track is as good as any of it. There’s production excellence here, there’s a vocal component that goes into realms rarely experienced in this approach to music. Viking music indeed.

But, it’s the situation with her daughter, Angel, that drives much of the music. And nowhere is it more apparent than on the track Innocent Child. This is the most emotional track on the release, and the most touching. The track begins and ends with the sounds of Angel’s happy voice. But the thoughts go in a different direction as Helena sings:

Her voice has been silenced / She is out of sight / Imprisoned in the crime
On a desert place / And her freedom got lost / Hands reaching out
And both of us, you and I / Have a new hope instead

Why?, Tell me why?, life is so unfair / To an innocent child
With a bleeding heart / And tears are flowing

Much of the remainder of the release deals with the topic from various perspectives. Tracks like Wings of Hope see Helena go to the pure operatic vocal, and she does it like no one else. There are two bonus tracks as well, We’ll be Free which is a bit more of a rocker and Broken Hearts which again takes us to the beautiful, as only this wonderful vox can deliver.

Tears of Silence is a prayer, a call for justice, but a call of hope as well. Helena described the release as follows: “So the album is a scream of help for my daughter’s destiny and that I believe one day we will be free and happy again..Together..”

One can only hope to see this situation resolved as quickly as possible and Helena and Angel reunited. That’s the hope. But, beyond that, we can be thankful for the beautiful release that has come from it. Nice to know it had one positive outcome, and it is truly a positive. A 10/10 indeed..