Imperium Dekadenz - When We Are Forgotten
Napalm Records
Black Metal
11 songs (58:08)
Release year: 2019
Imperium Dekadenz, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Goat

German duo Imperium Dekadenz have been a site favourite for years now since 2010's excellent Procella Vadens knocked your humble correspondent's socks off, and subsequent albums have done well in exploring their uniquely melodic and epic form of black metal. So good are the band at it that it doesn't really matter that there's been little actual progression over their last couple of albums - they've hit a particularly rich vein of gold and there's plenty to mine from it. So that sixth full-length When We Are Forgotten offers more of the same is not a bad thing, as all the band's songwriting powers are in full effect from the opening title track, slowly building into a melodic, atmospheric and melancholic pounder that builds a backing wall of noise to almost post-rock levels as Horaz's snarls echo subtly over the top. That post-rock vibe helps make the track more accessible than you may have thought, backing wordless clean vocals and a steady (if sometimes a little too simplistic) drum backing ensuring that the epic peak reached towards the song's end is as infectious as it is grandiose.

And although this album is long, Imperium Dekadenz use that time well. Tempos increase, the speedier Bis Ich Bin adding some more varied drumming that goes a long way to improving things (Vespasian is a talented sticksman but shows off less than he perhaps should!) and ensuring the black metal heart of the band beats strongly. And tempos decrease, the doomy opening to My Solace I (Choirs of Solitude) having a nicely Burzumic feel before some programmed beats push it back in time, sections of strident spoken word and swirly layers of keyboards giving it a weird Grand Declaration of War vibe at points, counterpointed with organic drums and more building walls of post-rock noise. The variety is impressive, the punchy A Cave Called Wisdom leaning more on guitars for melody and grandeur, and even having a pagan metal feel at points with the almost bouncy centre section, while the following Transcendence takes a coy step towards melodic doom-death, soon pulling back into fast blackened blasting sections. Even interludes Trauma, Seance, and Reverie are effective, brief yet hypnotic post-Burzum synth pieces that fit the general album vibe and break up the gaps between the longer songs well.

When We Are Forgotten as a whole is probably a little too long, to the point where single-session listens can make otherwise great material like Absenz Elysium seem repetitious even with some terrific deep clean singing. If you're familiar with the band to date then it can feel like they have shown you their entire bag of tricks and a little more restraint and self-editing could have worked very well to make this album even better. Yet it's hard to actually pick filler, for example the two separate My Solace pieces being distinct enough for both to be effective, the second having a slower, almost Summoning-esque feel that fits the late-album tracklisting well. And the final track proper Frozen in Time is simply terrific, adding an anthemic grooviness to the band's usual epic sturm und drang that is strangely reminiscent of a blackened Godflesh, bringing proceedings to a suitable closure. Perhaps not the best Imperium Dekadenz album when compared to previous glories, but still a worthy effort that will please fans and ensure the band are never forgotten.

(The bonus tracks are worth a listen, the sparse instrumental Behold the Flames of Time keeping your attention despite being nearly six minutes long and the eight-minute plus Owl of the Black Forest providing more doomy grandeur. You can see why neither made the main tracklisting of an already full album, however)

Killing Songs :
Bis Ich Bin, A Cave Called Wisdom, Frozen in Time
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Imperium Dekadenz that we have reviewed:
Imperium Dekadenz - Dis Manibvs reviewed by Jared and quoted 90 / 100
Imperium Dekadenz - Dämmerung der Szenarien reviewed by Jared and quoted 90 / 100
Imperium Dekadenz - Meadows of Nostalgia reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
Imperium Dekadenz - Procella Vadens reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:15 pm
View and Post comments