Imagika was a Bay Area thrash band which was formed in 1993. The band's name was lifted from a Clive Barker novel. The band's first album was self-titled and through its own Headless Corpse label in 1996. This brought a deal with Radiation Records for Worship and shows with Iron Savior and Grave Digger. ...And So It Burns was issued by Massacre. Grave Digger's then main two members Chris Boltendahl and Uwe Lulis guested on ...And So It Burns. The same albums appeared in the band's home country as So It Burns.
The band would announce a name change in 2003, but soon changed its mind. The same year brought new singer Norman Skinner. A US tour was announced for June, 2006 following the release of My Bloodied Wings. The tour’s name was Mausoleum Metal Masters Tour. Surprisingly, however, the band parted ways with Mausoleum Records. The group signed a record deal with Sleaszy Rider Records for the release of its My Bloodied Wings CD in Europe. The release was due in September. The label was nominated to issue the band’s 2008 record as well which was being recorded by Andy La Rocque. The band’s new guitarist was Noor LaCroix replacing Pat Toms. The band’s new album, entitled Feast For The Hated, was due in late 2007. The band signed a deal with Locomotive Records for the release of Feast For The Hated CD, which was due in May of 2008. Imagika would release a new album, Portrait Of A Hanged Man, on March 19th of 2010 through Metalville. The album was recorded at Fang Studio by Imagika guitarist Steve Rice and was mixed at King Diamond guitarist Andy La Rocque's Sonic Train Studio in Sweden. Hellhound drummer Wayne De Vecchi replaced Imagika drummer Henry Moreno in 2010. Repetto joined AC/DC cover band AC/DZ with former Exodus man Souza in 2010. Singer Norman Skinner left Imagika due to "musical differences." His final show with the band was on October 16th at Avalon in Santa Clara, California. Skinner, was a new band featuring Rob Kolowitz (Imagika), Jim Pegram (Imagika), Ramon Ochoa and Norman Skinner (Machine.Called.Man and Imagika). The band was writing music for its debut album in 2011. After 17 years as a band Imagika threw in the towel to start 2011. This followed former band members joining The Consequence Of Chaos in December.
IMAGIKA - FEAST FOR THE HATED - LOCOMOTIVE
Imagika’s single biggest fault is probably the flexibility of Norman Skinner’s voice. It is difficult criticizing the vocals, and still recommend the band, because they are such a central part of Imagika’s sound.
Nonetheless, Feast For The Hated begins with probably the album’s second weakest song. Waking A Dead Man is a hard affair that best exemplifies the nature of the band’s schizoid vocals. The singing ebbs and flows between a Chuck Billy-esque woof to some fluffy artsy vocalizing. This tender/coarse dichotomy might explain why Imagika has never reached the career heights it probably would have were it either a melodic hard rock band or a thrash metal act. Not many fans describe themselves as supporters of 'mixture metal.' That is the problem. Just because a band can do something does not mean it should.
Nevertheless, and to be explicit, Imagika is a good band and Feast For The Hated is a good album. Your Creator is the second song and has plenty of great metal guitars. This is where Imagika excels. It uses the guitars and uses them a lot. The vocals again growl, scream and go soft. The title track begins with more versatility, although here that attribute is focused on the music. The song begins with a poppy strum but end up thrashing hard. New Power Rises begins with a cheap and obvious riff, but the soloing and the extensive use of the guitars make the track a very good one. Held Beneath has some staccato thrashing before getting to the album’s weak link, Succubus. Who needs acoustic vocals and female vocals?
Imagika shows a lot of imagination, power and melody here. For those seeking a heavier Iced Earth or lighter Testament or power metal that lies somewhere in the middle Feast For The Hated is a good pick. - Ali “The Metallian”