The new year 2023 immediately gave us an excellent black metal album. We are talking about the masters of atmospheric black metal from Germany band Imperium Dekadenz. The band was formed back in 2004 and has almost 20-year history, during which they released 6 excellent albums and became one of the best, if not the best in the atmospheric black metal genre.
The band consists of just two people: Vespasian (guitars, bass, drums, keyboards) and Horaz (guitars, keyboards, vocals). Both musicians have an impressive set of instrumental skills and have a huge stock of musical ideas to develop, which is confirmed by the new record. The duo successfully develops in their own direction, offering their unique version of dark atmospheric black metal. Each new release brought the band more and more recognition and a wider audience, and with it, higher and higher expectations. And they’ve managed it.
The band’s new album is called Into Sorrow Evermore and was released on January 20 on the Napalm Records label. The record features eight rather lengthy 50-minute tracks.
Undoubtedly, the band draws inspiration from the traditions of classic Norwegian black metal, but complements it with its epic grandeur.
The album begins with the 7-minute title track Into Sorrow Evermore with a very dark and ominous intro that transitions into a classic black metal tremolo, while immediately plunging the listener into a dark atmosphere. Next comes a more medium tempo. Overall, this composition combines melody and rage in the best way possible.
The 6-minute composition Truth under Stars also begins with classic black metal, which is accompanied by tragic guitar melodies. The song gradually moves to a slower tempo, using even clean vocals in places, but it all ends very violently.
One of the highlights of the album is the composition Aurora with its melancholic piano intro and beautiful melody. The slow tempo of the track best emphasizes the tragic atmosphere. It is the most touching composition of the whole record.
Elysian Fields is a medium tempo song with a catchy and melodic main riff that has a more progressive structure.
Next comes the shortest thing on the album Forests in Gale. This is the faster and livelier track on the record with fierce and venomous vocals, showing the versatility and diversity of the band’s music.
Awakened Beyond Dreams is the longest song lasting over eight minutes, containing plenty of old-school black metal riffs, which reminds me something of early Satyricon. By the middle of this epic track there is a break and the guitar piece along with the ominous voice tells a sad story.
November Monument is a dark, heavy, medium tempo black metal composition with a hypnotic melody in the best traditions of the band.
And the closing track Memories… a Raging River is another epic composition, which was released earlier as a single, as if summing up the whole album, showing the band’s musical versatility. The song goes at a fairly fast pace before moving into a melodic and sublime finale.
As a general conclusion. The presented record contains almost all the ingredients necessary for quality modern black metal. The album is of a very high level and technical skill of the musicians, combining the Norwegian classics of the beginning of the 90’s with the unique style of the band, with a dense sound, very gloomy and sometimes melancholic atmosphere, different instrumental layers, rhythm changes, hypnotic dark melodies and wonderful vocals. The perfect album for a gloomy winter evening.