Founded in 2012 by singers/keyboardists Alexander „Aor“ Osipov and Jane „Corn“ Odintsova, today Imperial Age are the best known disciples of symphonic metal not only from their Russian motherland, but from the whole of Eastern Europe. Delivering a mixture of heavy metal, male and female opera and rock vocals, orchestral and choral sound with a strength unparalleled even by the mastodonts of the genre, the band gained international recognition after Christofer Johnsson, the godfather of symphonic metal and leader of Therion, noticed the Russian talents, signed them to his own label Adulruna and took on an immense European tour in 2016.
Early years. Turn the Sun Off! (2012-2014)
In 2010 Aor disbanded his first band Revelance and together with Jane concieved a grand project that would later become Imperial Age. Some of the Revelance songs were adapted, others were composed and some of the best Russian session musicians were hired to record what eventually became Imperial Age’s debut album Turn The Sun Off!. Aor performed the vocal parts together with a choir of conservatory students conducted by Alexandra Sidorova, Jane did the keyboards, guitar was regorded by Igor „Kiv“ Korolev and bass – by Alexander Minashkin.
The band shot 2 videos: Anthem of Valour and Wings of Your Heart. The album received positive critical acclaim in various metal media around the world. In 2013 and 2014 the musicians played intensively in Russia, opening for big acts like Tarja Turunen, Epica, Paradise Lost, OOMPH!, Tristania, The 69 Eyes and playing headliner shows in various Russian cities. During those concerts bass was played by Dmitry Dok, drums – by Dmitry Kovalev and guitar – by Belf and Sergey Mordashov.
International recognition. Warrior Race. (2015-2016)
On 05 October 2014 Imperial Age opened the concert for Therion in St. Petersburg, Russia. This gig turned out to be the game changing event in their entire career and lives. Christofer Johsson listened to the whole show and was deeply impressed by the music he heard. At the same time, the band was recording their new EP Warrior Race which contains three new songs, a cover of To Mega Therion by Therion and songs from Turn The Sun Off! For the record, the band invites Alexandra Sidorova to become the new lead singer, while Aor wanted to concentrate more on keys. The EP features prominent guests – Fabio Lione (Rhapsody, Angra), Daray (Dimmu Borgir), Sergey Lazar and Vladimir Reshetnikov (Arkona).
After recording Warrior Race, Imperial Age announced the new members of the band: Lex Romano (bass), Alexander Strelnikov (guitar) and Igor Tuov (drums). The lead singer was Alexandra Sidorova, while Aor and Jane playe two keyboards and performed the backing vocals.
When Christofer heard „To Mega Therion“, he wrote on his Facebook page: „the best Therion cover I have heard so far“. Soon after that, he signed Imperial Age to his own private label Adulruna Records and in a few months it was announced that Imperial Age would be going on a major European tour as the support act for Therion. Warrior Race was set to be released all over Europe as the band’s first international release on the 08th January 2016, just as the tour started. The record gained multiple positive feedback from the international media and the first edition was sold out during the tour.
After the tour with Therion, singer Alexandra Sidorova left the band due to family circumstances and was replaced by Anna „Kiara“ Moiseeva. To nail down the international success, Imperial Age went on a second European tour in the autumn of 2016, playing support for Orphaned Land as well as headliner shows in the UK and Spain. Thus, in 2016 Imperial Age became the second most internationally touring Russian band (after Arkona), having played a total of 44 concerts in Europe.
The Legacy of Atlantis. Huge European tour. (2017-2018)
In 2016 it was announced that the band had started working on a new album and in 2017 it was revealed to be a metal opera under the name The Legacy of Atlantis. Due to the fact that an opera requires multiple singers, Aor and Jane have put aside the keyboards, becoming full-time vocalists. The album was recorded with Therion musicians: Nalle Pahlsson (bass, guitar, acoustic guitar), Thomas Vikstrom (vocals) and Christian Vidal (solo guitar) and with Sergey from Arkona on additional guitar, who also did the mixing and mastering of the record. Taras Yasenkov conducted the Moscow Conservatory Chamber Choir to record the biggest choral tracks in the band’s history so far.
In July 2017 it was announced that Imperial Age would again join Therion in their new European tour. However, this time the tour would be of an extraordinary length even for Therion – 57 concerts in 25 countries – and Imperial Age would be the midact on all the shows. In December 2017, the new line-up was announced: Aor (Vocals), Jane Odintsova (vocals), Anna Kiara (vocals), Belf (bass), Vredes (guitar), Max Talion (drums).
The band toured all of Europe in February, March and April 2018, playing a total of 59 concerts over the span of 3 months – a huge tour for any metal band of any size. The only two European countries not visited were Norway and Austria. The tour was a tremendous success, both among the critics and the fans, and brought Imperial Age to a new level of international recognition.