Swedish metallers Imminence have created a reputation for creating solid hardcore, gradually evolving their sound on their EP Return to Helios and debut album I. Both records melded bone crushing technical riffs with catchy clean choruses, showcasing their pop sensibilities. Back in March, they released their second album, This is Goodbye which marked a change in sound to a more accessible direction. The success of Bring Me the Horizon’s influential albums Sempiternal and That’s the Spirit in particular made them more commercially successful, inspiring a lot of bands to incorporate nu-metal influences into their music. This is Goodbye falls into this category, seeing the band abandon their hardcore roots for a cleaner, polished sound which works surprisingly well. The album was mainly self-produced, while vocal production was carried out by singer Eddie Berg and Simon Peyron.
Things get off to a brilliant start with the title track. Built around a heavy riff and chopped up vocals that are reminiscent of Bring Me the Horizon, it retains the energy of their earlier discography while the beefed up vocals makes the impact even more visceral. After multiple listens, you’ll want to belt out the soaring chorus loudly. The lyrics are reflective and could be about leaving a situation behind: “When I walk out with my head held high / This is goodbye.”
The effort put into creating the finished product really pays off, as they’ve created an amalgamation of styles, expanding their palette. An example of this is the final track, ‘Desert Space.’ The heavy reverberated vocals work extremely well with the poppier guitars, leading to an experimental soundscape. It demonstrates that Imminence are not afraid to explore new ideas.
This is Goodbye is new territory for Imminence.
This fearlessness is displayed across the record, while the use of EDM-influenced synths takes the sound into a new dimension. There’s a lot going on in ‘Broken Love’, the synths blending well with Harald Barrett’s crushing guitars, a refreshingly creative side and a determined ambition to break the mould and stamp their own personality. ‘Up’ is one of the more introspective songs on the album. It still contains elements of Imminence’s old sound, the filthy chugging guitars blending with some deep lyrics which could indicate a personal struggle: “I need you like a gun to the head / but I’ll be dead before I ask for your help.” The passion in Berg’s voice and the heavy atmospheric guitars work beautifully and could suit a moshpit.
The main thing that’s noticeable is that there are no screams whatsoever. This is a brave move, replaced by an emphasis on vocals and a desire to shoot for the heights of arenas. ‘Coming Undone’ is an example of this transition; a slow ballad based around an atmospheric EDM synth and features a strong, melodic vocal performance. Lyrically, Berg wears his heart on his sleeve as he lays his emotions bare, while the harmonies in the chorus are captivating and breathe life into the track, setting the tone for the rest of the album.
This is Goodbye is new territory for Imminence. Although it sounds completely different to their previous work, it is their most personal and mature record yet; yielding an enjoyable collection of songs that will resonate deeply with both old and new fans.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos