The long-awaited comeback of Lebanese band Kimaera, nine years after a promising album like The Harbinger of Doom, risks turning out to be a swan song, however magnificent, having been released shortly after the death of vocalist and leader Jean-Pierre Haddad at the age of just 39. Imperivm is in fact an album that would have all the credentials to bring Kimaera‘s name to the attention of the public, despite belonging to a peripheral metal scene. Imperivm literally explodes the symphonic impulses that characterised the previous album, tying in sublimely with the ethnic component and finding a perfect balance between the strength of the metal substrate and the orchestrations that bring us back to Israeli neighbours Winterhorde. And if their last album, Maestro, was a work of sublime depth, the same can easily be said for this collection of tracks that denote an impressive progression by Kimaera, both compositionally and artistically compared to the past. The pain of Haddad’s death would have been the same even if Imperivm had turned out to be a mediocre piece of work, of course, but fate was indeed mocking in preventing the Beirut musician from seeing his creation reap the tangible fruit of a long work begun in the first decade of the century. I would like to give a warning to those who approach the album attracted by the inclusion of Kimaera in gothic death doom: well, in reality there is practically no trace of that, because the epic and melodic inspiration of this work has little in common with the sound decoded in England in the early nineties, which was the primary source of inspiration in the past for the Lebanese band. The seven tracks that make up the work work out in just under forty minutes without any weak points or drops in tension, and the bonus track Ya Beirut is a cadeau to be listened to separately from the rest, as it appears stylistically standalone. We don’t know if the rest of the band will continue or if Kimaera‘s adventure will be declared over after Haddad’s death; in any case, the depth of an album like Imperivm is able to keep their name alive.

2022 – Independent

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