After three albums with his band Impera, founding drummer Johan Kihlberg decided it was time to spread his wings, and the Swede came up with the idea to record his first solo effort, Johan Kihlberg’s Impera Age Of Discovery.  “I felt this would give me the opportunity to spread my wings a bit and work with some other people,” Johan said. ” I grew up with bands like KISS, Queen, ABBA and The Beatles, who were not afraid to have a wide range of styles on their albums.  I’m obviously a hard rock fan at heart, but I’m also influenced by bands like Simple Minds, Kraftwerk, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Human League and many others. I’m also a huge fan of movies and movie soundtracks.

The first person Johan approached was Lion’s Share guitarist Lars Chriss, who is also a renowned producer and mixer. “Johan and I got together and started writing songs,” Chriss said.”He usually had an idea of the direction and we took it from there. We also had a couple of friends coming up with basic ideas for about half of the album. We had the luxury to cherry-pick the songs we thought would add to what we already had going. For lyrics and melodies we worked closely with singer Mick Devine of the band SEVEN, whom I’ve done a couple albums with the last couple of years. My old friend and Lion’s Share keyboardist Kay Backlund stepped up to the plate and worked with us on a couple of tracks as well.

Kihlberg and Chriss decided to work with several different singers on the project, while enlisting Kihlberg’s longtime friend and Impera bandmate Mats Vassfjord to lay down the bass tracks. “As soon as we had the songs written, we started thinking about what voice and singer that would fit each individual track the best,” Kihlberg said. “Fortunately, they all agreed and did an amazing job on the album. I even managed to get one of my all-time favorite singers, Michael Sadler from SAGA, to sing a song.

Johan Kihlberg’s Impera Age Of Discovery‘ features a wide range of musical influences while remaining a very strong, melodic and powerful album. It boasts great production work by Chriss and a stunning artwork by Carl-André Beckston.

Sound clips in advance:

Falling (Edit)

Fear (Edit)

The End Of The Road (Edit)


Johan Kihlberg – Drums/Keyboards

Lars Chriss (Lion’s Share)- Guitars

Mats Vassfjord (220 Volt) – Bass

Michael Sadler (Saga) – Lead & Backing Vocals on 8

Göran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum) – Lead & Backing Vocals on 6

Mick Devine (Seven) – Lead Vocals on 3, 5, 9 – Backing Vocals on 3, 7, 9, bonus track

Nigel Bailey (Bailey) – Lead Vocals on 7, 10, bonus track – Backing Vocals on 5, 10

Nils Patrik Johansson (Lion’s Share, Astral Doors) – Lead & Backing Vocals on 2, 3

Michael J. Scott – Lead & Backing Vocals on 4

Mattias IA Eklundh (Freak Kitchen) – solo on 9

Kay Backlund (Lion’s Share) – Keyboards on 1, 3, 6

Anders Rybank (Coastland Ride) – Keyboards on 8

Official Website



Johan Kihlberg, the founder and drummer of Swedish melodic rockers IMPERA, has signed a solo deal with Germany’s Metal Heaven.
The album features several different singers including Michael Sadler (SAGA) and Göran Edman (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen).
The album was produced by Kihlberg and Lion’s Share guitarist Lars Chriss, who also mixed and play on it. Release on February 23rd, 2018.

Johan Kihlberg is also currently in the spotlight for the KISS book, ‘Kiss Klassified: War Stories From A Kiss Army General‘.
The story is centered around Kihlberg, who was the president of Kiss Army Sweden for ten years. The book features over 750 never-before-seen photos as well as several unpublished interviews with American rock icons KISS. Release on October 26 via Gain Production.

Impera - Empire of Sin

Escape Music have just released the following information.

Impera are a melodic rock “supergroup” that consists of a guitar player who, seemingly effortlessly, delivers stunning solos and riffs of that classic, timeless grit you thought were killed off by grunge coupled with a pounding bass that will put you through the wall. Add blistering drumming that’s as solid as it is technically challenging and on top of all that, add a vocalist that sings circles around the competition. There’s no keyboard player, no nonsense, no fuzz – just rock and roll!

The whole band consists of solid musicians who have earned their wings through hard work with an impressive number of world-class stars over the years. Their combined CV reads as a who’s who in today’s rock. In various constellations they have played with Vinnie Vincent and Bruce Kulick from Kiss, Brian Robertson from Thin Lizzy, John Levén from Europe (who guests on this new album) and many more. Guitarist Tommy Denander alone has played with almost everyone. His track record is jaw-dropping, having made solo albums with key members of Toto and performed on albums with Michael Jackson, Paul Stanley, Alice Cooper and Ricky Martin. His own Project “Radioactive” has recorded some fine melodic rock songs.

“We all started to play because of Kiss”, J.K states. We’re huge Kiss fans and collectors and even good friends with them. Kiss is the reason we discovered how great rock and roll is.  And following their tradition, you can count on a stage show that will take your breath away, complete with fireworks, smoke, fire and all hell’s breaking loose! The amount of powder used in a single show would put the defence of a small European country to shame.

When “Legacy of Life” hit the streets back in October 2012 everyone was so excited with the fresh sound these four guys had injected into the melodic rock industry. The follow up “Pieces of Eden” was a grand extension from this powerful foursome and so it leads us into 2015 and a new album “Empire of Sin” will be unleashed upon us. This time Impera turn on some real feisty hard rock with songs like “The Beast is dead” and “Don’t stop”. It’s nice to see John Leven make a guest appearance on “Thunder in your heart”, a song he co-wrote and it’s a song that really hits the spot.

Impera have matured and honed their sound to perfection and this is their best outing yet.

Impera is:

Matti Alfonzetti – Vocals (Jagged Edge, Skintrade, Road To Ruin, Red, White & Blues)

Tommy Denander – Guitar (Toto, Paul Stanley, Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper)

J.K. Impera – Drums (Bruce Kulick, Graham Bonnet, Vinnie Vincent, John Corabi, Brian Robertson

Mats Vassfjord – Bass (Vinnie Vincent, John Corabi,, Scaar, Grand Design)

Special guest lead guitar John Leven on “Thunder in your heart”

All songs written by Tommy Denander, Matti Alfonzetti, Johan Kihlberg

Except ‘Thunder In Your Heart’ written by Johan Kihlberg, John Levén, Matti Alfonzetti

All songs published by Copyright Control

Produced by Johan Kihlberg

Co-produced and mixed by Lars Chriss

Cover artwork & booklet design by Carl-André Beckston

Mastered by: Mike Lind


1 The Beast Is Dead

2 Evil (Become A Believer)

3 Don’t Stop

4 Hole In The Sky

5 End Of The World

6 Thunder In Your Heart

7 Lights In The Sky

8 Darling

9 Lost Boy

10 Fly Away