Here’s an album we’ve been waiting for! Formed in 2010, Imminence are Eddie Berg (vocals & video), Harald Barrett (guitar), Peter Hanström (drums) and Max Holmberg (bass). The Swedish alternative rock/metal band released This Is Goodbye on March 31st, and after hearing the impressive singles from the album, we were really excited to get our ears on it.
Imminence defined This Is Goodbye as new ground for them musically, creating the album in the quest for new sound; to both reflect their roots as well as their versatility as a band. Harald described the ‘tremendous effort’ that was needed to work through the doubt and fear that they might fail in their quest. Thankfully they did not fail, with Harald describing a breakthrough moment: “I remember me and Eddie walking home in the night after writing the title track, and we knew that we finally had it. We defined the new sound.“
Eddie described This Is Goodbye as being about leaving something behind in order to make room for something else, whether people, beliefs, choices:
“It symbolizes the sacrifices we make for our ambitions and emotions. For Imminence, it is also a direct reference to the changes we’ve gone through as a band and lifting the restrictions of genre definitions to create something out of pure passion and inspiration. The lyrical themes spring from my soul, my most inner thoughts and struggles and the emotive prison I built for myself.”
With this scene-setting of depth and inspiration, we were excited to review This Is Goodbye track-by-track, which you can find below.
The title track is first on the album, setting the scene of what is to come by way of the sound they have defined. The lyric of “This is goodbye” pours over the track in its introduction. The abrasiveness of the vocal blended with distorted guitar and pulsing effects and heavy drums, seems to be a musical attempt to eradicate something, by shaking it off with forceful vibrations.
The lyrics and raw emotional expression (“I’m begging you, let go for heaven’s sake, I promise you there’s nothing left to take”) share the breaking down and destruction of someone, who seeks to close off before they are completely destroyed. But all is not lost as a last fire of defiance lives on:
“You stabbed my heart now I want you to feel this
Better look me straight into the eye
This is goodbye”
The earth shattering booms along with vulnerable vocals express this sense of rawness in the face of something destructive. “This Is Goodbye” as the first track sets the feel of the album as described by Eddie: Breaking out of a prison.
Second track on This Is Goodbye is “Diamonds”. This track has beautiful mountain-scaling rock sections, as well as honest and tender vocals in this confessional of a track.
“I know you’re scared to tell the truth,
But it’s okay because that makes two”
There’s inspiration in acknowledging that we’re all imperfect, all fearful, all have been hurt before. Imminence have created something of a safe space inside this impressive track with their honesty. The guitars and crying out at the bridge (“I’M NOT SPOTLESS!”) are a stand-out, with the beat and searching melody inspiring a feeling of challenge.
“Broken Love” is third on the album, and this track is again a heavy serving of vulnerability by Imminence. It’s vulnerability relating to how nothingish they are feeling within themselves, while craving to be received by another.
“I’ll give you a mountain
I’ll give you a shipwreck
I’ll drag you through heaven
and take you to hell
Take my helpless, take my hopeless
Take my sorry, take my broken love”
Musically, Imminence are a long way from melodic death metal with dance beats and edited vocals. It’s all very catchy and easy to visualise this filling a stadium of bouncing bodies (who have felt just as broken before, and just as seeking of being seen and embraced).
The fourth track is “Coming Undone”. As the album continues it is becoming obvious that the sound that Imminence is creating are heavy-hitting rock fused with electronica, and sentiment expressed with honesty and emotion. “Coming Undone” is exactly that, describing what seems like a dropping of deception and resistances (as safety mechanisms) and being seen as you are. Imminence do catchy choruses very well!
“Rattle the cages
The end of our struggle is to come
The sound of a thousand cries
We are coming undone”
“Up” at the fifth track is otherworldly as it begins, with Eddie’s vocals (“There’s something inside of me spreading like wildfire”) swirling over the track as it pulses. Fight-soaked rock kicks in at the chorus, with a dance between heartache and fight continuing through the track.
A stand-out for us on “Up” is the section with whispered and breathed effects before darker vocals growl out the lyrics through gritted teeth. Are they listening yet?
“I need you like a knife in the back
Time to go back, ’cause time is running
And you’re not keeping up”
The next track, “Daggers”, is far lighter and open with much more of an alternative ballad sound. Again this track expresses its message with vulnerability and openness of emotion. The sound of this track is soaring and moving, building up to stronger choruses.
“Look into my tired eyes, tell me
Can you see my soul
Is there something left in me, or is it
just an empty hole”
“Daggers” speaks about recovery and making amends. It has a beautiful outro filled with hope and the vocals shine.
“Cold As Stone” amps back up into heaviness, and Imminence’s versatility from track to track is impressive. The versatility is across the track also, with lightly spoken verses and dance beats pushing up against anthemic fire-laden choruses.
“You dug your own grave
now you have to sleep in it
‘Cause you’re cold as stone
And now you’re on your own”
The next track, “Keep Me”, feels like a bitter pill being swallowed about facing reality in a relationship and being left hurting. “Keep Me” is musically massive with piano featuring most obviously on the track, along with layered vocals and building beats.
“You asked your questions
I told you my secrets
I gave you my life
You didn’t even try to fight”
“Not A Rescue” is exciting in its build up of sound and pace kept by slammed drums, despite being a track about intense difficulty. Its bridge and movement into the last chorus captures a feeling of both determination and vulnerable honesty. These songs are very much ‘here I am in the rawness that I feel’, which is something humbling to witness, even when accompanied by rock.
“So here I am at the bottom of myself
with no one left to kill
Begging for a sweet release”
At track ten is “Ivory Black” which also has bleak content, describing bitter defeat and inner destruction. As Eddie described the concept of breaking out of prison, thoughts go to the idea of a phoenix rising from the ashes. We are never really done. This feels audible in the bridge with quieter pulsing and sedate vocals, before moving into a heavy and more powerful expression. The part of the song could very easily be showing rebirth via music!
“Feels like I’m dead, a ghost in denial
This is the price
Blessed by a curse, spell on my soul
A heavy disguise”
“Desert Place” is the last of the songs on the album aside from the three acoustic tracks. It continues the theme of fire and burning and the background vocals, climbing guitar sound and drum beats feel like encouragement to keep going. It’s beautifully done and feels like a heartfelt call for remembrance.
“You are the light inside me
Feel the fire, the fire that’s burning
You are the stars above me
Feel the night, the night that’s turning”
The acoustic versions of “Diamonds”, “Keep Me”, and “This Is Goodbye” feel like something special; a treat of sound to close off the album. The three tracks further add to that vulnerability we’ve seen woven throughout This Is Goodbye. There’s also something really special about the album being encased by two versions of its title track.
Imminence have created something really powerful with This Is Goodbye. The album is a collection of songs with heart powerfully bared, moving between stadium-strong rock sound and dance beats. They truly have showcased their versatility, just as they set out to do, and have defined a sound of their own from which to continue their evolution as exceptional musicians.
You can buy or stream This Is Goodbye from all of your favourite music places.