Imperium Dekadenz Interview

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Imperium Dekadenz have been around for 10+ years writing some incredible black metal that is both unique and very introspective in nature. When I found out about them I noticed their albums were highly reviewed and to no surprise when I heard their album “Dis Manibvs” my mind was blown about how good, powerful and emotional it sounded. So many images came to my mind when hearing the album. I really wanted to know more about how Imperium Dekadenz came up with their concept as well as inspirations for songwriting. Horaz (vocals, guitars and keyboards) one half of the band took time out of his busy day to answer my questions. He has some great answers and really sheds light into the whole process of what makes Imperium Dekadenz write stellar albums consistently.

Firstly, since releasing “Dis Manibvs” the reaction so far has been positive, what do you think of the recognition you are receiving as of late?

Horaz: That album ended up being an immense amount of work (next to our daily jobs and businesses). Besides the time and money we invested in it there were also many emotions that took over in the recording process.. Of course it feels good to get that recognition from all these people around the world. We feel our message was understood and if we read reviews like your’s we are happy that we are able to create such intense emotions and mind-images.

Can you describe to the readers what made you conceptualize the ideas of “Dis Manibvs’? Is there any specific or interesting moments that happened when you recorded the album?

Horaz: The title is Latin and means “To the Gods of Death”. I had that idea when I went to the Emperor Nero exhibition in Trier (Germany) and found all these Roman tombstones signed with “D.M.” or “Dis Manibus” (also used with Dis Manibus Sacra). It came to my thought that our whole life is geared on death (hopefully the correct expression, hehe) and somehow it could be understood as the meaning of life, as our hope is to have a good death. The concept of the album has different scenarios handling that topic with different experiences, views and stories.

What is the creative process like for Imperium Dekadenz? And what made you come up with the name “Imperium Dekadenz”?

Horaz: Vespasian and myself start with a new song separately and if the main structure is done the other one is adding his ideas on to it. The good thing here is that it gives us various options we can run with, because if for example Vespasian does not like a new idea of mine the song will be discarded or completely revised. I think it is important that you only start the songwriting if your heart has really something to say. Meaning, you cannot force the creation of a good song, there must be a kind of salvation to put your emotions and thoughts into it. The name is inspired by the 70s movie “Caligula”. It’s about the Roman Emperor Caligula and his cruelties in ancient Rome. We love history and especially ancient history including the Romans, Greeks, Celts, Egyptians, Germans and other tribes, but it is not any main concept of the band.

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When I listen to your albums I get a huge sense of triumph and even closure in the albums I have heard. Did you intentionally write your music this way? What made you want give the music such a powerful and emotional resonance?

Horaz: To answer that question is similar to answer on the question “how magic happens?”, hehehe. Certainly it is the mixture of the different characteristics of Vespasian and me and also our different tastes and inspirations. As I already said, the most important point is to create emotional art if your heart has really something to say. The foundation of each song has to be an emotional expression of a moment in your life, the hard work comes later for the details. Maybe it is also an advantage that we start the songwriting separated. I do not know if it would be the same to create a song together with 5 band members in a rehearsal room.

When listening to “Dis Manibvs” it immediately reminded me of the many various styles of black metal from Depressive, Cascadian (Wolves in the Throne Room/Agalloch) to classic Scandinavian 90s black metal, in your opinion what black metal category would you place Imperium Dekadenz?

Horaz: It is dark, rough, atmospheric and emotional art, based on 90s Norwegian Black Metal and Doom Metal. We listen to Metal for over 20 years now, starting with demos and Cannibal Corpse cassettes on the playground to the point of obsession. Also many YouTube sessions thru all the genres and other music influences on Vespasian’s couch. I think it is correct, you can hear many influences, but on the other hand there is absolutely no band that sounds like Imperium Dekadenz.

The United States black metal scene is always growing and changing as the years go by, in your opinion what do you think of the state of black metal and even metal today, specifically in the United States?

Horaz: To be honest I have no overview of the US scene. I am not a typical scene character. I am more interested in the art itself instead of the bands and the guys behind it. My experience is that you are often disappointed if you meet any band members or to give more attention to a band’s background. I think that is safe bet, because how could someone present himself in a normal situation (for example somewhere backstage)  if you only know him as metal star. That can only fail. Well the BM scene today… or be more exactly the Post Black Metal scene, is not my personal taste. Somehow the whole appearance of these bands is too flat… I don’t know…. Basically I think it is a good thing that after all these years “Black Metal” (if you can call it still Back Metal) is one of the genres that still changes regularly.

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When listening to “Dis Manibvs” there is a seemingly spiritual connection in the music that is almost cosmic in nature, how important is Imperium Dekadenz’s metaphysical thoughts to the creative process?

Horaz: It’s hard to describe the connection between “metaphysical thoughts” and the creative process. But to describe our way until the goal is reached is simple… you have to put all your passion, emotions, time, money, sweat, blood, knowledge and skills into it… from the first tone you play on your guitar until the last adaption on the mastering. We do not spend time finding out why we sound how we sound, we spend it to create art.

There is undeniable imagery of Nature within your albums artwork and lyrics, what is it about the natural landscapes of Germany that makes you write this way?

Horaz: We grew up in one of Germany’s most remarkable landscape, the Black Forest. It is similar to a Scandinavian landscape with high mountains and dark forests. I always loved to be outside in these woods until the night falls. I think that forest is one of the reasons why I fell into love with Black Metal. It is still a very important source of energy for me and I still try to be there as much as possible. And yes… I also think that you always hear the forest in these songs.

Currently what are you both listening to as of late? Do you recommend any particular albums for our readers to check out?

Horaz: I am currently listening to Murg (Sweden), Vemod (Norway), Glerakur (Iceland), Abyssion (Finland) and Skepticism (Finland).

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Are there plans in the works for Imperium Dekadenz to tour the United States? Have either of you spent much time in the U.S.?

Horaz: We have never visited the US yet, but it is one of our big goals! We had no luck so far, but we have high ambitions and we really hope to start a US Tour one day.

Imperium Dekadenz has been around for over 10 years now, in this time span do you think your ideas and concepts have evolved? What direction do you hope to take the band in the future?

Horaz: I think it is natural thing for an artist to evolve the whole band thing. I think we did a good progression during all these years with finding new elements and improving the old strengths. It was always our main goal to intensify the emotions on each upcoming album and we will still follow that path in the future.

If you could describe your music to someone who may not be into metal but is interested in branching out how would you describe it?

Horaz: Be ready to make a journey towards your within.

And finally do you have any parting thoughts/words for our readers?

Horaz: Stay active, stay awake, fathom the darkest parts of your soul and keep the flame burning. Thank you for your support!

Bandcamp: https://imperiumdekadenz.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImperiumDekadenz/

Homepage: http://www.imperium-dekadenz.de/

Label: http://www.season-of-mist.com/

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Imperium Dekadenz “Dis Manibvs”

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I have spent a ton of time trying to find new things to listen to. I love all of the albums I have in some way or another but I just needed to hear something new and unique. I heard about the band Imperium Dekadenz from one of my friend’s and started listening to some songs by them. After hearing their music with much greater attention to detail I was immediately staggered by how good these guys are. Hailing from Germany Imperium Dekadenz arrived through the fogs and mists of the black woods and have created an epic album called “Dis Manibvs” that came out in August of 2016.

The best way I can describe the overall vibe of the album is sorrowful, ancient and triumphant. The songs seemingly blend into one another like a tapestry of stars and planets. The vocals remind me of yearnings for times of old and final breaths of stars dying into the black of space. There is a cosmic, polytheistic and natural energy when every note is played. There is strong feeling of melancholy in the way the instruments harmonize and crescendo. There are multiple things that standout in “Dis Manibvs” one of them standing out above all others is the drumming of Vespasian. They are powerful, emotional and thunderous like the heavens, blast beats sound like oaks growing and expanding in the rain, and the cymbal crashes remind me of bolts of lightning turning the night sky white. There is a real feeling of the gods speaking when you hear some tracks of “Dis Manibvs” and whatever they are saying is being conjured through Imperium Dekadenz.

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I can say when I hear this album my mind goes into a different place entirely, all the negativity and pain of life disappears and I feel like I am lost on a battlefield after Ragnarok. I see corpses around me, blood in the grass, mud and destruction everywhere. But I am not looking at the ground but the sky above. I can see stars clear and bright, clouds passing through the moon and treetops. I can see the dull light of dawn on the horizon and the ghosts of the dead wandering aimless among the piles of the dead. I know even after the brutality and violence of the battle that I lived and the gods had plans for me hidden from my view. I could only find the answers by moving forward and leaving the death behind me. My eyes scan to the east as I see the sun rise and notice glimmers of light as the sun shines over the vast raging river cutting through hills and valleys, a place to be cleansed of the blood and filth of the night before. These are the images and feelings “Dis Manibvs” evokes when listened to and it stays with you long after.

The songs that stand out most on this album are “Still I Rise” a triumphant, hopeful song about letting the past rot and being only aware of the present and seeing the future in a gauze of ether. The guitars are incredibly bombastic and immediately invoke these feelings and it just stays with you as a fond memory of the past you do not want to lose. The next song that is incredible is “Dis Manibvs” a slow, doomy black metal track which cascades like waterfalls and a steady warm rain. There is a sense of longing in this song, it is almost depressive in nature but it nonetheless is a song that can help with feelings of guilt and grief. The final song that stands out is “Volcano” it reminds me thoroughly of an old Emperor song it sounds like chaos melded with calm and develops images of a civilization on the brink of collapse through utter natural destruction. There is a sense of closure in this song, after the eruption and screams of thousands there is silence and it permeates through everything and leaves you utterly speechless in where the album will go next.

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Captured by Dvergir Photography

When the album ends the feelings, senses and thoughts stay with you like a vivid dream. You see yourself floating aimlessly in the infinite sky and see the god’s beckoning you to paradise. You find yourself at peace after the destructively beautiful sounds and images of “Dis Manibvs” and just want to play it again and again. The story Vespasian and Horaz crafted with such care, diligence and passion is something that will remain in your memory long after listening. An album that allows you to always hear new things and experience new visions is an album worth listening to. Be blown away by the utter perfection of this album and let it stick with you for the rest of your days.

Rating 9/10

Bandcamp: https://imperiumdekadenz.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImperiumDekadenz/

Homepage: http://www.imperium-dekadenz.de/

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The Dreaming Metal Muse Returns

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It has been months since I was able to update the blog, work has been incredibly busy and left little time for me to talk about metal and reach out to my contacts. Now with the New Year coming around it is time to update my blog in earnest. I apologize to my readers who missed out on my thoughts and ramblings. 2017 is going to be an awesome year for metal, while 2016 was good and bad at the same time. There are a lot of wonderful things happening in 2017 with bands such as Khorada and Pillorian coming through the pipeline, I am looking forward to seeing where the metal world will go in 2017.

As for 2016 it has been a hell of a year with a lot of terrible things that have happened in the world as well the entertainment industry. There is no need to touch upon these things, there were some great highlights that happened in the world of underground music. Some as noted below:

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Alcest new album “Kodama” came out and it was a wonderful album that did have some weak points in it. The one thing that was great about this album is Neige going back to his black metal roots. It was great to hear his screams again. But the album didn’t wow me nearly as much as his other outputs.

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I was able to attend Enslaved’s 25th Anniversary show in NYC. It was an amazing show and they played for an incredible 3 hours touching on every album of their discography. There is also a new documentary coming out about Enslaved and this will be something I am eager to watch as well as review. Also Einar Selvik was in attendance and contributed to some songs with them.

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Wardruna’s new album “Runaljod – Ragnarok” came out and it was incredible bookend to their trilogy about the Runes. There are a ton of songs to like in this album and it really gives a feeling of both ending as well as beginning. I look forward to anything Einar Selvik puts out because I know it will be a wonderful listening experience.

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I came across a band called Imperium Dekadenz out of Germany and they have an absolutely stellar discography and I plan on reviewing the albums I currently have by them. It is some great music that reminds me of a mashup of Drudkh, Agalloch and Rotting Christ. I feel this is a band that will get more listeners as time goes on.

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One final highlight (and there is a lot of them) is SubRosa’s new album “For This We Fought the Battle of Ages” it is an amazing album that just sticks with you after you listen to it. I intend to write a review of this album as well because it just really hit all the right emotional notes for me when I listened to it.

I am looking forward to presenting you new reviews, interviews and thoughts about the metal world. I hope to branch out to some other avenues with this blog where underground music is still the focal point in a different way. I wish everyone a happy and safe New Year. Stay metal and stay true!