Imperium Dekadenz - Into Sorrow Evermore (2023)Release ID: 42123
At one point I found myself over-saturated with black metal and consequently for the last year or so I have paid it very little attention, other than for a few releases from acts I was already familiar with. So to a new year and I feel ready to put black metal back on the menu and as fate would have it, the first release to cross my path was the new album from German atmospheric black metal duo, Imperium Dekadenz. My only previous contact with the band was via 2007's Dämmerung der Szenarien album which I found to be a solid, if not especially earth-shattering, effort, so it has been a while since I paid the band heed.
Well, even after a solitary playthrough, Into Sorrow Evermore had a firm hold on my attention as it was immediately apparent that this was a cut above your run-of-the-mill atmospheric black metal release and was one that demanded further scrutiny. Most of the tracks here tread a line between atmospheric and uptempo melodic black metal, erring more on one side or the other depending on the track and are atmospherically epic and expansive. There is plenty of variety, though, with a couple of tracks that have a slower tempo and a greater emphasis on post-metal-derived melancholy, almost channelling a doom metal sensibility, in the vein of the stuff someone like Deha produces on a regular basis. The riffs are great with a fairly meaty sound for black metal, with each being sufficiently melodic and memorable that they live long in the memory, a trick too many atmo-black bands are unable to replicate. Vocalist Horaz has a great line in washed-out shrieking that fits the blasting and riffing perfectly and it is always great to hear real drums on an atmo-black album, they just give it a natural authenticity that programmed drums are unable to reproduce convincingly.
Thematically the album is on solid ground, the lyrics comprising a philosophical contemplation of the implacable majesty of the natural world and Man's place within it, a subject any atmospheric black metal fan will be extremely familiar with. There is no compulsion on the part of the duo to push boundaries and you won't be overwhelmed with layers of dissonance or overly complex rhythms and song structures, but Into Sorrow Evermore bears the hallmarks of a band who have been honing their craft and songwriting skills within their own field of expertise and if you are a fan of classy, natural-themed atmo-black in the nature of Wolves in the Throne Room you will find much here to revel in. For me, Imperial Dekadenz have definitely given me a big push to climb back aboard the black metal express and for that I am extremely grateful.
Atmospheric Black Metal
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