Imperium Dekadenz

Moments after their first headlining show in the UK, I got a moment to speak to vocalist Horaz and drummer Vespasian, the black metal duo that is Imperium Dekadenz, about their new album “When We Are Forgotten”.
Imperium Dekadenz band pic
Thank you very much for being here with me tonight to talk about your new album, “When We Are Forgotten”. What are the elements that separate the new album from the previous ones?
Horaz: After our previous album, we felt like we wanted to take a new step, to become darker, intermitted, compact, personal, not that epic. We often use historical backgrounds to tell our lyrics but this time we have more personal lyrics and we don’t have that many changes in the songs and there isn’t so much melody.
Vespasian: It’s straighter to the point and focused on the song with the 10 minute stories, so it focuses for example for 7 minutes on little details in the songs, doesn’t repeat too much.
What are the general topics that you talk about in your lyrics?
H: It’s not a concept album. Every song is about life and death and the birth of doing things, and if there’s a birth, and what death may mean to you and how things are changing in your life.
V: It’s about learning about yourself, transformation to get newer thoughts and ideas about life and death. It’s kind of like a mirror to speak with yourself, “where am I, is this the life I want to live or is this the life others are expecting of me to live?”. Questions that are personal to you, about who you are, almost like a discussion with the soul.
Is this like a spiritual thing?
V: Yes. So, like when you are alone in your room and its dark and you think about life, like, what have I achieved, what are my dreams, are my dreams good, do I have to break out of people or my job and stuff like that. So it’s a lot about transformation to have a better and more fulfilled life.
Where does the album title “When We Are Forgotten” come from, what does it mean?
H: The title of the last album “Dis Manibvs” in Latin was on Roman tombstones and means “For the Gods of death”. So we took the next step for this one and thought about “What does it mean for you in your life”, if it comes to your death what has happened with your story and will it be continued so we found the title “When We Are Forgotten”…
V: When you were on earth did you become something or do anything, did you write a book, did you write poems, music… is there anything that will carry on your name and your story?
How did your record deal with Napalm Records occur? Do you think this is a good opportunity to reach a wider audience worldwide?
H: We did our last album “Dis Manibvs” with Season of Mist and a few months after that we had contact with Napalm Records, they were very interested, we had long discussions with them and it felt very right. Great communications with them, everything else was great too and they were very interested to do something with us. I think our music is not typical black metal, its not post-black metal but its not old school black metal. So, I think that was a very good part for the roster with the other plans. But the people are very excited and love working with us and we had a lot of work and everything they wanted…
V: For us it is important not to have just business partners but to also have more friendly communications, so I feel like they were definitely able to offer that to us. We are not always talking about business; it’s a very friendly situation.
You worked with Christoph Brandes (Finsterforst, Mightiest, Unlight) for the albums mixing and mastering. You seem to trust Brandes as you have worked together for almost a decade. What is the difference on this album sound wise?
H: We have a similar workflow now since the last album but we improved every step which is a good thing because we don’t spend so much time doing crazy stuff and losing a lot of time and energy, so we now have a good workflow. Everyone should remember his name, he is an absolute master at what he does, and he is absolutely crazy. He sits there on Sunday evening at 1am at night or something and still mastering and working on the files. He is an absolute maniac and he knows absolutely what we want. This time we decided to have a bit more of an old school sound, more brutal and rawer guitars. We felt the guitars were a bit too comfortable last time so now it’s more black metal I would say.
How would you characterise “When We Are Forgotten” and what are your expectations from it?
H: It was not only one step forward; it was more like two steps… Of course we now have a strong partner, a strong label, but we also have put in a lot of effort into doing the videos for the albums which we haven’t done before, every step we took we thought about it really hard and made every step more effort than the other albums. We wanted to put everything into its element. We wrote a lot of material and I think we could fill another album without any problems, I think we wrote about 18 or 19 songs, but we chose the best ones for this album.
Will you carry on being a duo or are you considering adding some more permanent members at any point?
H: No. I think never change your running system. It works well between the two of us. It’s a blind communication we have.
V: It’s easier to hurt someone if you criticise, for example if somebody wrote a song and sent it to you and wants to know what you think about it, even if your criticism is constructive it hurts. It’s more painful for a musician to hear that somebody doesn’t like your idea than your girlfriend is leaving (haha).
H: The energy and conversation are perfect between us, everything works extremely well, and I don’t know, if we had more people there would have to be science involved and we would have to think of their feelings and whatever.
V: It’s more like, we send finished songs to each other because we can both play guitar so its not just easy to share riffs but also complete songs then we discuss for sure, like, “this part is wrong, or this riff doesn’t fit, but its not like a riff collection thing, we don’t just discuss small parts, we discuss entire songs.
Should we expect a European tour next year, is there anything that you are currently working on?
H: A complete European tour is probably difficult because of our private situations but currently a lot of stuff is going on.
V: We need the right time to make a decision. There will be some more announcements in the next weeks.
What are your 3 favourite black metal albums?
V: It’s hard to…
H: What I really love at the moment is Murg, Swedish band of two guys, they only have 3 albums but the new album “Strävan”, I absolutely love it and I listen to it a lot. We also love doom stuff like Shape Of Despair. It’s hard to find 3 albums, but Darkthrone is very important, or Satyricon stuff. To be more detailed, we prefer the old 90s stuff, there’s also brilliant modern stuff but old school is our favourite.
Is there anything you would like to add before we finish the interview?
H: It was a very hard day today. Very long day.
V: No sleep but we had a very good English breakfast.
H: Very good breakfast. We are now happy to have a drink and go to the hotel and sleep. Thank you very much!
Thank you very much for taking your time to chat with me!