It’s been a relatively quite three years since Germany’s Imperium Dekadenz released their solid though unspectacular Procella Vadens LP. After unleashing two impressive albums (…und die Welt ward kalt und leer and Dämmerung der Szenarien), Imperium Dekadenz seemed to take a step back with their aforementioned 2010 release. However, with their latest album Meadows of Nostalgia, the black metal duo has righted the ship and came up with arguably their finest collection of metal to date.
Sporting an eerie, chilly production that adds to the ominous atmosphere throughout the album, Meadows of Nostalgia is somewhat of a throwback to what made the black metal scene of the ‘90s so popular. Vespasian (guitars, bass, drums, keyboards) and Horaz (vocals, guitars, keyboards) concocted a superb mix of ravaging speed and slower, haunting passages. Harkening to Carpathian Forest at times as well as Tsjuder (and a host of others), Imperium Dekadenz play a style of black metal that is as diverse as it is lethal.
Luckily the duo doesn’t simply blast away for every second of every song and even better, they haven’t fallen victim to the tedious and boring Cascadian style of BM that has unfortunately taken the metal world by storm. Rather, the two masterminds clearly have taken their time in creating memorable, contrasting sounds throughout the album. Whether it’s the melodic, brooding “Memoria”, the sweeping “Ave Danuvi” or the somewhat majestic “Der Unweg”, Imperium Dekadenz don’t rely on one sound that works and copy-and-paste it throughout the entire album.
Naturally, Imperium Dekadenz hasn’t reinvented the wheel with anything written on Meadows of Nostalgia. But what they lack in sheer originality they more than make up for with passionate songwriting and an open-minded, honest approach to a genre of metal that has been played to death since the scene exploded twenty years ago. And with the three years in between releases, Vespasian and Horaz have used that time well to craft more focused, more thoughtful songs than ever before.
Imperium Dekadenz have always released quality black metal throughout their almost decade of existence, but they haven’t ever created an album as diverse and passionate as Meadows of Nostalgia. It’s not the second coming of Tara, Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk, or Storm of the Light’s Bane, but it doesn’t need to be. Meadows of Nostalgia is superb from start to finish and it’s loaded with songs that are strong enough to stand on their own two legs, though the album is a much more powerful listen when ingested as a whole. Here’s hoping these German dudes don’t wait another three years before unfurling album number five.[Visit the band's website]