When listening to the self released debut from Canada’s Aquila (featuring former members of Bloodshoteye), I get a little sense of Deja Va as I’m reminded of Loren Battle’s Words Begins Wars, release earlier this year; Confident, well done, polished, epic artwork – and all of it self released. But it’s also plying a genre and style that’s been done do death (metalcore), and despite the hard work, effort and delivery, it doesn’t quite rise up from the masses.

Still, Imperium is solid released for fans of As I Lay Dying and their many clones to numerous to list here- well produced, mildly commercial melodic galloping metalcore with ample moments of growls, heft and clean vocals coming together for something that readily accessible, but has some balls too.

Likely, those only ones left reading are fans of As I Lay Dying and such, so I guess I’ll continue. Aquila does everything right on this effort, but they don’t quite have that ‘it’ to elevate the album into something more than just a competent entry into the genre. As with Loren Battle, my main issue is with the vocals of Mark Aruda – his screams and growls are solid, but he has this sort of semi shouted singing approach he injects here and there that just doesn’t sit well with me.

However, musically, Aquila know there way around the genre with plenty of galloping dual melodies, double bass work, gruff breakdowns and dramatic sturdy riffage that is on par with anything similar on a label today. Perfectly listenable tracks like the solo filled “Killed or Be Killed”, impressive “Never to Awake” (complete with female spoke word intro) and closer “Bound For Glory” make the album worth your time if you are a fan of the style.  And to the bands credit, other than two interludes (“Imperuim”, “Vae Victus”) the band avoids the ballad pitfall, thought I would have like to have seem them further expand on the Romanic imagery and elements further.

Centurion or Legionnaire-core? I’d be into that

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 21st, 2009


  1. Commented by: Nick

    Nice review. I remember hearing about these dudes a few months ago. I still have yet to give em a listen, but apparently Im not missing out on much haha! Great review Erik!

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