Today we have reviewer Jayaprakash Satyamurthy from the bangalore based band Djinn & Miskatonic doing a review of the new album from Imperium Dekadenz titled ‘Meadows of Nostalgia’. The record releases today in the US and on March 19th in Europe via Season of Mist.
01 Durch Das Tor… 2:24
02 Brigobannis 5:31
03 Aue Der Nostalgie 10:05
04 Ave Danuvi 6:18
05 Memoria 2:10
06 Aura Silvae 5:23
07 Der Unweg 7:33
08 Striga 9:35
09 Tren Des Bacchus 7:09
Review in Haiku – Visions Of Loss And Decay
Your mileage will vary, but this album is a grower. It’s fairly straightforward black metal, with a certain cold, melancholy atmosphere. Classic Burzum, and Bathory when they were moving towards a Viking metal sound, are the obvious influences. The tempos are middling, although the sense of bleak power is underscored by double-bass reliant drumming and incessant tremolo picking. It’s all quite orthodox in execution, but this German duo mixes it up with a couple of instrumental interludes that rely on tasteful acoustic guitars and some percussion and sound effects to set up the wistful, bucolic mood suggested by the title track.
The songs themselves are a stately progression of black metal hymns that vary in length but all have a similar impact. It took me a few spins to start thinking of the songs as individual entities, but there are standout passages that reward repeated listening. ‘Ave Danuvi’ introduces choral backing vocals and an atmospheric interlude with clean guitars, the sound of running water and whispered vocals. These are elements that might have come across as cheesy but are instead evocative. ‘Aura Silvae’ is more forceful, and the cascading riffs and subtle variations between sections make for a very satisfying whole. Still, I suspect Imperium Dekadenz simply do not believe in frontloading an album because so much of the best material seems to emerge later on in the album. For instance, the second instrumental, ‘Memoria’ lives up to its title with a yearning, intricate melody and is certainly a more substantial piece than the introductory instrumental, ‘Durch das Tor’. Similarly, the last two tracks may well be the strongest on the album. ‘Striga’ starts with a slow, doomy intro and contains enough dynamics and contrast to feel truly epic (although I must hasten to add that contrast is a relative term – the band never strays from their overall sound and mood). Finally, ‘Tranan des Bacchus’ includes some brilliant, almost classic metal melodies without losing the intensity of the rest of the album.
This is a very well produced album – the sound is full of nuances of aural shading that make for great headphone listening. This isn’t pig-heads-on-a-stick black metal of the raw variety, but it isn’t really artsy black metal either. It’s a very stark, even one-dimensional kind of sound, but with enough atmosphere and finesse to appeal to audiences outside the hardline black metal contingent. On the other hand, there’s a paucity of memorable riffs and tunes, with the music instead making its impact through the unity of its stratagems. Ultimately, you have to be willing to sit back and let this album gradually transport you into its visions of immemorial loss and ancient decay.