Long Lost Pride

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When Lion Music executive Lasse Mattsson introduced guitaristBob Katsionis to Swedish singer Bjorn Jansson -- merging the prolific Greek musician with a talent from further north -- a new chapter in the group Imaginery's history began. Not to be confused with new age ensemble Imaginary (note the one letter difference), the album Long Lost Pride contains ten very hard rocking episodes that contain creativity and bite. Opening tunes "Hypnotized" and

"The Sign f Today" have enough melody and balanced tempo to keep one's attention, a tough formula to execute, and one that Katsionis and Jansson achieve with the help of bassist Olof Sundfeldt and drummer Mark Adrian. "Roughly Scratched but Alive" clocks in at almost six minutes (nothing here is under four) with a terrific opening riff and an equally strong hook close to one used by the Bee Gees, of all people, on their song "Alive" from 1972's To Whom It May Concern disc. The difference is that Imaginery's title will be limited by the style -- a metallic onslaught that is top-notch for those who follow the intricacies of loud music. For example, "Korozon (The Lord of Evil)" is hardly the same theme as Carole King's "Corazón" from 1973s Fantasy album -- Imaginery's seems to be a variation on the Australian Black Mermaid Productions' comic book character from 1998 -- an immortal merman. Imaginery's "Korozon" -- "the prince of the night" -- keeps you in his home, the place of "fear and evil, rage and fury." A menacing Iron Maiden-style excursion as dark as it is majestic, Long Lost Pride needs repeated spins; its effect is not immediate, but for fans of the genre the CD provides fun from the opening notes to the conclusion of the multi-layered, tempo-switching "In My Life."

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