Secret Passion

1. Touch Of Your Hand
2. Secret Passion
3. Fragile
4. Out Of Sight
5. Let Down
6. Violence
7. Like Rain
8. Suicide
9. Hold On
10. Greed
11. Missing It All
12. My Sleeping Angel
13. Mistress (digipak bonus track)

Helena Iren Michaelsen - vocals
Jan Örkki Yrlund - guitars
Steve Wolz - drums
Gerry Verstreken - bass

The Ancient Dance of Qetesh (2004)
Queen of Light (2007)

Mix and mastering by Jacob Hansen
Orchstrations and guest appearance by Oliver Philipps (Everon) & Tina Guo (cello)

Released 25/3-2011
Reviewed 4/3-2011


“Hello, we are a band from Norway, Finland, Belgium and Germany” is what the band could have said if I had met them on the street which I didn’t. They are what we in the business call a European band with a Norwegian female singer who seems to be the leading force in this band since her name is on the website and she is the one we hear as we listen to the band. This album is their third album and it is called Secret Passion, it has twelve tracks and a playing time of a little over fifty minutes of music. There is a limited edition digipak version of this album which has a thirteenth track called Mistress.

I think you could deduct from the first paragraph that this band is a female fronted band, a female gothic metal band to be more precise. The focus of this band seem to be towards the more melodic side of things, it has symphonic elements, and a lot of atmospheric touches gives this album an atmospheric touch (I guess you never saw that touch coming). The production is clean, not overpolished but far from dirty. Gothic Epic Metal is what the label call the genre, maybe it is.

The album starts in a faster and more rockish feeling song than what is the case with the album in general. This track is called Touch of Your Hand and it is a good track but maybe it does not quite set the tone as you would expect it. A track that does set the tone for the rest of the album is the second one which is the title track. It is a midtempo song with a really good chorus and it is a really good track and it feels much like it in one song represent this album.

The third track called Fragile is another really good track that illustrate very well what they are singing about. The fragility of the voice and the tone of the song show very well what it is all about. Moreover we can speak of other great tracks in Violence, Like Rain, Suicide and Hold On are well worth mentioning.

I find that most of the tracks on this album are really good, in fact all of them are good and to be honest I cannot see anything that clouds the bright blue skies of Imperia’s Secret Passion. There is one small niggle if you look at the limited edition digipak version of this album, the bonus track called Mistress which is some sort of disco, rock, metal song which does not really make any sense. Thing is though that this track is a bonus track, which does not quite belong when you look at the real picture, it is the twelve tracks that really matter when it comes to this album. These twelve tracks are really good as well, the show signs of the passion that is sung about in the title track and also of very good musicianship along with songwriting skills.

I also saved mentioning my favourite song of the album until last, the track I find being the best is the ending twelfth track called My Sleeping angel in which Helena sings a duet with some guy whom the information I have do not specify. It does not really matter who he is as the song is good and he does a good job along with Helena to make it a really beautiful and almost touching song. It also ends the album in the best possible way, that is if you do not have the digipak version.

In the end I can only say that I do not carry any secret passions for Helena but who knows for someone in his or her right mind they probably can be awoken while listening to this album. With melody, beauty and passion Imperia manage to attract my attention for a little over fifty minutes. This album has my recommendation, whatever that mean.


Label - Massacre Records
Three similar bands - Sirenia/Theatre of Tragedy/Within Temptation
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm