Imperium Dekadenz - When We Are Forgotten

Imperium Dekadenz When We Are Forgotten cover
Imperium Dekadenz
When We Are Forgotten
Napalm Records
German black metal isn’t exactly a mainstay, nor as renowned as say the Norwegian or Greek schools, it’s not even as popular as the rest of the Scandi variants, but that doesn’t mean it’s totally without its merits.
Imperium Dekadenz have been at it since early in the millennium and have carved their own path, through six albums that show very little change in style or scope. Their black metal is not chaotic as is of ther the case with Norwegian bands, although they do have bursts where dark negative energy flows unbound, but their overall approach is a lot more structured and melodic. An almost melodic “heavy”/black metal, with tremolo riffing freely applied on top, but also some more mellow ideas often creeping along. The vocals are the typical shriek, that are so beloved by the genre, makes for a rather majestic style, but not in the traditional sense of the word. It’s gothic, it’s splendorous and melodic without losing the extremity the riffing that vocals and riffing give.
That fact alone might turn off some, puritans, but I will openly say that I’d take these two guys over half of the Norwegian traditional scene anyway. While the same guys might argue that the mid-tempo that tends to permeate most tracks can get a bit tiresome after a while, it’s executed well enough to avoid that pitfall. Also while there are a number of interlude/softer passages, even songs – ie “Reverie” they are not boring and enhance the flow instead of fragmenting the album, but it’s songs like “Absenz Elysium” and the eponymous opening title track capture some of the essence of this band. “Bis Ich Bin” is the closest you’ll get to the band being chaotic, but songs like “Transcendence” or the almost Alcest-like “Frozen in Time”, which offer the variety, that the lack of speed does not.
While I am not your average black metal fan, I enjoyed this more than I’d be openly willing to admit, (which I just did), but I do think that if they maybe included a couple of faster songs on a future release it would shield them from being characterized a softer/shoegaze sort of BM band. And it would only have to be a handful of examples in an entire album. I liked this, a good deal however, I’ll admit (a second time).