Only Dark Hearts Survive

1. Where Our Demons Dwell
2. Cast Into Damnation
3. Prisoners Of Fate
4. Suffocate On Hate
5. The Spiteful One
6. The Faceless Rise
7. Firefight
8. Only Dark Hearts Survive

Jim Pegram - Bass
Matt Thompson - Drums
Steve Rice - Guitars
Norman Skinner - Vocals

Imagika (1995)
Worship (1998)
And So It Burns (2000)
Devils On Both Sides (2005)
My Bloodied Wings (2006)
Feast For The Hated (2008)
Portrait of a Hanged Man (2010)

Aaron Robitsch - Keyboards

Mixed and mastered by Andy La Rocque at Sonic Train Studios
Cover art by Dušan Marković

Released 2019-09-13
Reviewed 2019-12-07

dissonance productions

It is only the dark ones that survive when Imagika comes up with a new album in their now long music career. It is the eighth album and it is called Only Dark Hearts Survive and it opens with looking at where our demons dwell – kind of a dark themed album. And I think that you can hear that it is a band of experienced musicians with experiences from not only Imagika but many other bands as well. This album can probably be described as sitting somewhere between the American and European heavy metal style, a bit rougher than the usual European heavy metal and a bit more sophisticated than the usual American. But it is not really different from any of them.

It is a fairly heavy album with rough vocals where the production isn’t as polished as it can be on much modern heavy metal, they have kept some rough edges and hence created a nice rough sound. The vocals aren’t good on their own right but fits the songs really well. And as they keep it short and relatively varied you could easily play through the album without it feeling repetitive or something to that effect. It is a solid production that offers no surprises so it should work for fans of the band and the genre.

It isn’t exactly a challenging album, it doesn’t grow on you, what you hear is what you get. So while you can play through it a few times it starts feeling less interesting pretty quickly. I think the opening track is very strong and there are some other great things to this album which overall feels good but also rather forgettable. It lacks original thinking, something that is far from uncommon in the world of music where most stuff gives a sense of déjà vu. But doing something surprising or something that feels fresh or original means that it doesn’t have to be as good to be great or impressive, the exciting thing is to hear something that gives a sense of novelty and while Imagika is a band that know their craft they don’t know novelty – hence a forgettable album.

Very good but also forgettable, enjoyable but not really inviting you to listen again when the last song ends. I don’t doubt that Imagika will work for many heavy metal fans, I like it but at the same time I know that I just played it for the last time in my life as I will never listen to it again. The conclusion is that this is a solid album and the fans will probably enjoy it but will it gain them many new fans? Of that I am not so sure, I didn’t become a fan.






Label: Dissonance Productions
Three similar bands: Kill Ritual/Hellscream/King Diamond

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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