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Imp - Ashes In The Hourglass - NuParadigm Records Reviewed by: Nailer

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. Successors
3. Demise of Man
4. The last Descendant
5. The Great Arrival
6. Onslaught
Under the moniker of "prog metal" a wide subset exists from the power metal leaning of old Queensryche, to the dizzy complexities of Watchtower to the offbeat twiddley stuff that I can't connect with at all. Being derivative of the early power-prog of Fates Warning isn't so bad for diminutively-named IMP who shred a hundred riffs behind grandiose concepts that stretch back through time and reach out beyond the stars. No Lovecraft monsters need apply, though.

Female vocalist Monica Janssen (Acidict, Thripthong and At Daybreak) carries the set, the Yin to John Arch's Yang. She's out of element with the sprinkling of vocal growls that come across as pandering to tastes better left to a male voice or Glassgow/Otep throat, but she shines beautifully with the melodic leads:

"Beneath the silver moon, on an eerie night / dancing shadows swayed in starlight, / the black blood / of Eden in their eyes"

There's the strength of voice that belies the bands name and the key that could carry them on.

Score: 7.5

--Nailer 09.10.04
About this Writer:
Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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REVIEWER DATE
Ashes in the HourglassImp
2004
Frank Hill9/14/2004


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