IMPERIA is an atmospheric metal band who's sound is especially evident by the distinguished and remarkable strong voice of Helena Iren Michaelsen (ex- Trail Of Tears), who sings in a variety of styles from deep emotional feelings to extreme operatic expressions. The music is full of vivacity, it is heavy, bombastic and orchestral, but it also contains elements of pure metal. The band is a true cross-border unit of musicians originating from different countries: Norway, Finland, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. Through hard work and extensive touring the band has earned its reputation as a powerful live band.
The first release of IMPERIA was a cover-song "Lotus Eaters" for a Dead Can Dance tribute album which was released by Black Lotus Records in the spring of 2004. The song was recorded at the RS29 studios by Oscar Holleman in Holland. The tribute-album and especially IMPERIA's title track received excellent reviews and soon after IMPERIA signed a record deal with the Dutch Ebony Tears label.
In the summer of 2004 IMPERIA played their first gigs and also recorded their debut album "The Ancient Dance of Qetesh" in Holland at the Franky's. The first album was released in the autumn of 2004 in the Benelux countries. The album received fine reviews and it even made it to album of the month in Belgium and in Spain. In the following months the band played all over the main clubs in Holland and Belgium. They also played in some festivals and supported bigger names like for example Nightwish in the sold out Amsterdam HMH.
In 2005 the band recorded another project of Helena called Angel. The album "A Woman's Diary - Chapter I" was released by Black Lotus Records in the spring of 2005. Though the style of the album was very varied and less metal the band succeeded to demonstrate their versality and musicianship. Also Helena had this time the change to show her skills in more mainstream music next to the opera style she is already known for.
Towards the end of 2005 IMPERIA had written enough new material for the second full length. So in February 2006 the band entered the Spacelab studio in Germany with the producer Oliver Philipps and Moschus Moos. This time IMPERIA wanted everything to be perfect and that is why more studio time was required than for the debut album. Therefore it was not until the summer that the band was finally finished with the recordings. The band went through a series of negotiations with different established metal record labels for the release and in the end they teamed up with the German Massacre Records, which had proven to be a reliable label and which had helped a lot of artists in their style.
The new IMPERIA album is titled as "Queen of Light". The album title symbolizes the wonder of birth. As Helena's baby girl Angel Michaelsen was born during the production, also the band has given a symbolic birth to a new child - a new album. The "Queen of Light" consists of not less than 13 new songs. You will hear an album of Atmospheric Metal with a multitude of different emotions and feelings; from the fast up-tempo metal songs to slow bombastic ballads and even to some extreme experimental vocals and sounds with an eastern touch. It is an album full of different directions and surprises - it is the surprising world of IMPERIA.
Imperia's line up is:
Helena Iren Michaelsen - Vocals and choirs
Steve Wolz - Drums
John Stam - Guitars
Gerry Verstreken - Bass
Jan "Örkki" Yrlund - Guitars
Audun Grønnestad - Orchestrations