After the elapse of three years since their last album, Meadows of Nostalgia, the German duo Imperium Dekadenz have returned with a powerful new one, Dis Manibvs. We are told that the Latin title, which means “To the Spirits of the Dead”, is a phrase originally found on antique Roman grave markers, signifying the remembrance of lives lost. It seems also to be a form of dedication for this new album, and a fitting one for the music it contains. Today we invite you to immerse yourself in this new record in advance of its August 26 release by Season of Mist. — and to read a track-by-track commentary by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Horaz.
This is the band’s fifth album since the group’s founding in 2004, and it achieves certain challenging objectives unusually well. Chief among them is this: The music is saturated with the powerful emotional resonance of loss, grief, and even wrenching abandonment, and yet at the same time the band have conveyed those deeply dark and dramatic emotional sensations with music of sweeping grandeur and majesty.
The music has a dense, powerful, multi-layered sound, and it reverberates as if performed beneath the high vaulted ceiling of an imposing gothic cathedral. It’s something like a grand black-metal funeral mass, with heaving cathedral organ chords and synthesizer sounds resembling ghostly choirs appearing here and there. And yet the almost cinematic, shimmering keyboard ambience and rippling guitar melodies are as often heroic and uplifting as they are grim and depressive. There are times when the music transports the listener, as if soaring aloft on raptor’s wings above icy, shadowed mountain crags.
While the music is often slow and stately in its pacing, it’s just as often delivered with rocking, head-nodding beats or erupting in torrents of blasting drums and surging tremolo riffs. Dark and even depressive this music may be, but it is also vibrantly alive. It’s pulse-pounding and heart-swelling just as often as it is intensely bereaved and agonized.
The vocals provide a significant component of the music’s emotional intensity. The wrenching yells and lycanthropic howls are soul-shredding in their unhinged, untamed passion. The music may often reach levels of sublime beauty, but the vocals (and a persistent layer of hissing distortion) keep a hard edge under the listeners’ throats, even as the songs are carrying your imaginations far away from more mundane surroundings.
And the last thing I’ll say before leaving you to explore this masterful album is something you’ll quickly learn for yourselves as soon as you move past the cosmically majestic introductory track and launch yourselves into “Only Fragments of Light”: The album is intensely memorable. It gets its hooks into your head, and they don’t let go.
You can stream the entire album through the YouTube playlist embedded below, and after the stream we have that track-by-track commentary from Horaz. The tracks are as follows:
1. In Todesbanden
2. Only Fragments Of Light
3. Still I Rise
4. Dis Manibvs
5. Pantheon Spells
6. Vae Victis
9. Pure Nocturnal Rome
To pre-order the album through Season of Mist, use this link:
Imperium Dekadenz on the web:
TRACK-BY-TRACK COMMENTS BY IMPERIUM DEKADENZ (HORAZ)
A dark mystical march into the forest, followed by an incantation in Middle High German (Medieval-German). It’s a kind of epic stuff, but also with a fundament of nature-feeling. “In Todesbanden” means someone is fighting for the last breaths, but inescapably on the way to death, arriving at the end of the road.
Only Fragments of Light
The soul falls into a profound abyss, captured at an unlighted place, not able to break out, …hopeless, mournful, a dismal place and unreachable for anyone. But within all the darkness… the dreams are free, flying thru the nocturnal forest. The awakening is the pure horror, back to solitude. The isolation makes you stronger and the will grows to arise from the abyss…
This is my personal soundtrack for a disembarrassment after a very fucked up time, where I wasn’t able to live my life as intended to be.
Still I Rise
Against all adversities of life, we will not stop to continue our journey and standing for our principles. At the end, all efforts will be neutralized by death, although we will not decrease and continue fighting against our burden.
“To the Gods of Death”… A very personal and intimate song, attending a loved person on the road to death. Reflecting the past and looking to the future, unwilled to accept the fate and afraid to fail the challenge of solitude. Love makes you vulnerable and if you already had the taste of loss these thoughts rising to a kind of daemon.
The transformation of a close-to-death dream, by entering the Roman Pantheon and listening to the whispering gods. A kind of a funeral song played in a chapel, but also very inspired by the masters DEAD CAN DANCE.
The Roman Legions marching thru the streets of Rome celebrating their victory. The victory of one nation means the abolition of the culture and slavery of the other nation. But the war will never sleep, …only the dead have seen the end of the war. The 36o° panorama “Rome 312” by Yadegar Asisi inspired us to make that song.
The total annihilation of Pompeii and the fate of the population. We are both fascinated by these ancient ruins where you can become a part of the past and the personal destinies of the ash-imprint-people. The song exists out of two parts. The prosperous town as a good place to live and the devastating moment when Vesuvius obliterated all existing life there.
An instrumental song.
Pure Nocturnal Rome
My personal experience on a heavily drunken night in the nocturnal Rome, hehehe. I had a long way home by foot from a metal club back to my hotel. I felt a kind of energy and an inner transcendence, so the ruins became alive. A magic night… and now banned to our latest album.
A kind of cover song of a melody found as an epitaph on a ancient tombstone, known as the oldest melody today. We transferred the melody and the lyrics into an epic, heathen, metal ritual. Far from Black Metal principles, but it is making the whole album deeper and it is an interesting way to finish it.