IMAGIKA - Only Dark Hearts Survive
November 27, 2019, 10 months ago
Returning from a 9 year slumber, California’s Imagika are reactivated and back with their eighth full-length album. Most of the lineup from their 2010 hiatus have returned except Matt Thompson, drummer for King Diamond, steps behind the kit. Sitting at a nice 36 minutes, Only Dark Hearts Survive is a furious bite of power/thrash metal.
Vocalist Norman Skinner is comparable to Warrel Dane with his vocal ranges and using his natural aggression and charisma to elevate the music. That combined with the blazing solo work of Steve Rice makes for a memorable listen! Opener “Where Our Demons Dwell” sets the tone with a moody chorus which is then enveloped by a Painkiller like soloing. In-your-face and nonstop; this is great stuff! Imagika embolden the rhythms and journeys of the cuts with seamless transitions and exciting tempo changes. The lead break during the brooding “Suffocate On Hate” is one such exchange and the mood changing "The Faceless Rise" is an impressive mix of trad, death, and thrash metal riffing, but these guys can keep it straight-ahead like the full-on speed metal approach of “The Spiteful One”, which doesn’t sound far off from a mid-era Vicious Rumors cut. The time away sure hasn’t diluted the inspiration and quality for these dudes. A lot to like here; be sure to seek this one out!