Wednesday, 8 May 2013

IMPERIUM DEKADENZ - Meadows of Nostalgia (Album Review)



 
Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 15/3/2013
Label : Season of Mist
 
Meadows of Nostalgia, album tracklist :
1. Durch das Tor...
2. Brigobannis
3. Aue der Nostalgie
4. Ave Danuvi
5. Memoria
6. Aura Silvae
7. Der Unweg
8. Striga
9. Tränen des Bacchus

Bio :
Out of the murky depths of the Black Forest rise IMPERIUM DEKADENZ. The dark chasms of these steep mountains have witnessed the rise and fall of empires in bloody battles and glorious history. Celts, Romans and Germanic tribes have lived and perished in these fog ridden, harsh and yet exquisite landscapes. The ancient past and lost peoples left lingering feelings of longing and a deep melancholy, which none have ever captured more intensively than native IMPERIUM DEKADENZ on their fourth full-length "Meadows of Nostalgia".
 
German musicians Horaz and Vespasian manage to enhance and deepen their intricate atmospheric style, which already received tremendous praise for their previous album "Procella Vadens" (2010). Although this music evolved out of Norwegian Black Metal, IMPERIUM DEKADENZ soon built their own sonic realm on majestic structures imbued with fierce darkness, which are contrasted by melodic interludes and fragile acoustic parts. Founded in the year 2004, this duo quickly gained a dedicated following with debut album "…und die Welt ward kalt und leer" (2006).
 
This album has been described by the band as a core fusion of two very dissimilar characters, which are still connected through their mutual penchant for highly emotional yet dark music. Destruction, loneliness, despair and anger are all clad into sound on "…und die Welt ward kalt und leer". The album was recorded during the coldest and most snow plagued winter of the new millennium of 2005/6. Yet despite the harsh condition, this work was a dream come true for the two protagonists and the beginning of their deep and lasting friendship.
 
As the debut had gained immediate acclaim by critics and fans alike – mainly in Germany but also already beyond their native borders, the follow-up "Dämmerung der Szenarien" (2007) fell on already fertile ground. The seeds IMPERIUM DEKADENZ had sown started to blossom: sound, songwriting, lyrics artwork and live performance went up by several notches and ensured their final breakthrough in the German scene. The duo painted their work as a collection of tableaus in colours of melancholy, epic drama and dark impression.
 
Having thoroughly shaped their own sound, IMPERIUM DEKADENZ proceeded to climb on new peaks with "Procella Vadens". This "Wanderer in the Storm" amazed with ingeniously constructed multi-layered hymns plunged into the pure passion of ancient wrath and mournful melancholy. As a result the Germans were not only performing at major festivals of their home country including the famous Wacken Open Air as well as Summerbreez, but also received an invitation to the prestigious Inferno Festival in Oslo, Norway. Being one of the few foreign bands playing at this cult event comes close to a knighting within the black scene.
 
As drummer Vespasian and singer Horaz are sharing all other instrumental duties from guitars to synthesizers in studio, IMPERIUM DEKADENZ enlist the aid of guitarists Naavl and Kaelt supported by bassist Harvst on stage.
 
Lyrically IMPERIUM DEKADENZ clad metaphors of human transience, ashes, dust and shadows into an antique attire with a penchant for the Roman Empire, while declining to deal with stereotypical political, religious or misanthropic genre themes. The same obvious intelligence is applied in their complex and multi-layered compositions, which combined with emotional passion and intuitive skill turns "Meadows of Nostalgia" into a dark masterpiece. Delve deep into the secrets and detailed riches of IMPERIUM DEKADENZ. Glory to the new German emperors!
Line Up:
Vespasian: drums, e-guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, synthesizer
Horaz: vocals, e-guitar, synthesizer

Review:
Imperium Dekadenz hail from, as they put it, ‘out of the murky depths of the Black Forest.’ The Black Forest, for the less geographically sound, is in Germany.
Meadows of Nostalgia is the new full length release from the band. It contains nine songs that ensure you imagine the harsh, sparse and sinister backdrop from the place that the band comes from. The album is sung predominantly in German, so if metal albums that are in foreign languages are not your thing, you may struggle here.
 
From looking at the album cover, and the history of the band, you would expect a traditional slice of black metal from Meadows of Nostalgia, however there are a lot more facets to the sound of Imperial Dekadenz.
 
The opening is a short acoustic led track before the sound of a seemingly unknown being is heard trudging, invariably, through the Black Forest. The opening gives way to an excellent track: ‘Brigobannis.’ The track is very epic sounding. Harsh vocals are the norm, and the tempos change throughout, however the album doesn’t quite hit the traditional black metal sound until track three commences.
‘Aue der nostalgie’ rips open with furious drumming and guitars that create a wall of noise. Again though, tempo changes show a good depth within the sound over its vast ten minute duration. ‘Ave danuvi’ is an undoubted highlight of the album. The track is awash (pun intended), with sounds of rivers flowing and haunting, chanted vocals by a choir. This all backed with some very heavy drumming and crushing guitars.
A short acoustic interlude gives a little respite before the album moves on. ‘Aura silvae’ is one of the heaviest tracks on the album. Harshly screamed vocals and more of the same on the guitar and drum front, make this a visceral experience on the ears. ‘Der unweg’ leads off in a more traditional metal style before the vocals again have you in their grasp. The album closes with two more tracks in the same ilk as the rest of the album to round of an epic, hour long journey through an excellent album.
Words by : Dominic Walsh
 
As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch. This record is available  CD here. Thanks Gunnar @ Season of Mist
 
 

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