Recently, Imperium Dekadenz vocalist and guitarist Horaz spoke with me about Procella Vadens and what fans can expect from this new Season of Mist release. On their latest release record, the German Black Metal band have fashioned a terrific atmospheric and hauntingly ominous tone that is at once mystifying and captivating. A mixture of multifaceted instrumentation and eerily raspy, gut wrenching screams, (the stuff fans of Black Metal yearn for) offsets the pure metal attack. I am especially fond of the idea that the lyrical content does not focus solely on all things evil and malevolent. This was a big selling point for me, as I do not identify at all with the schools of thought that run through traditional Black Metal records. Here is how our conversation transpired...
Could you tell us where the name Imperium Dekadenz comes from? Horaz: “Imperium Dekadenz” translated means empire of decadence. The name was inspired by the seventies film 'Caligula.' This is a brutal film about the decade of the tyrant Caligula, a Roman emperor. It is a film about hate, yearning, murdering, decadence, despair and mourning. These are all the ingredients of our art. I don’t think that there is any objection to our band name. Our lyrics are often themed about "hard" stuff, but maybe the messages are hidden in a special way. At first sight, you might not detect any provocative themes... but take a look again.
Your brand new CD titled, Procella Vadens, was released in the US on January 26th. Now that it is complete how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome? Horaz: Yes, absolutely! We spent so much time and money on this production. Starting with the artwork, up to the production and songwriting. We really focused on every small detail. It is not an album for listening to just a several times and getting a complete image about it. It’s an album in which the listener needs time to discover, but on the other side you will have a long time of value with it.
Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music? Horaz: Of course, we are influenced by the typical Norwegian classics like Burzum, Shining and Darkthrone but we are still interested in upcoming bands and artists like Cold World, Urfaust, Alcest or Lifelover. There are also some other metal-formations like Bolt Thrower, Motörhead, Unleashed or (old) Sepultura stuff which still rotates in our players. Our ambient and acoustic titles are inspired by Dead can Dance. Vespasian, I really love this highest art of passion.
The songs on your new record, Procella Vadens, are not exactly what you would find on your typical Black Metal album. You offer a welcome range of musical sounds and abilities. Do you think this is due in part to your varied influences and/or a desire to explore new realms of music? Horaz: Yes, we have so many influences, emotions and imaginations. The music is like a playground where we can experience our mind, soul and passion. We do not want to be captured by any scene, conventions or rules. There are no compromises, if a song touches our hearts than it is a designated song for an album.
It is good to see a number of bands breaking away from the usual gore/horror, misogynist and anti-religious themes. What prompted you to pursue this specific course in lyrical concept? Horaz: We have something to say! The lyrics are an intimate look into our souls and our minds. There are really so many bands that handle the topics you mentioned. We like to listen to such bands but we are also getting bored over the years. We don’t have any specific concept we draw images of a journey far away from today’s society and daily routine.
Your lyrics are infused with heavy detail and raw emotion. What is it that normally gives you inspiration when writing lyrics and is there a theme or themes behind the writing of this record? Horaz: Well... alcohol I guess! Besides musical influences, we are deeply inspired by the environment and nature we grew up in. A raw landscape of forests and mountains formed by the Celts, Romans and German tribes, called the Black Forest in the south-west of Germany. Since we played as children in these woods we were impressed by the mystical darkness and pure dignity. This is the foundation of inspiration; our daily life with its emotional moments as well as books, pictures and films, forming our ideas and building the energy which is needed to create emotional art.
The artwork is quite amazing. How is it tied to the album's title? Horaz: It is a scene from the title song “Procella Vadens.” However, it is also an illustration of the journey the listener shall go through. It’s a wanderer walking through the storm, a journey comparable with a human’s life.
What kind of preparation goes into your live show? Horaz: We will improve our stage presentation step by step. We have many ideas, but there are still questions of how we can realize them. At our last shows, we had some helmets of the ancient Greeks on the stage, with some flambeaus. At the Wolfszeit Festival (Germany) we also used some pyro effects.
What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage? Horaz: The most valuable items of a band are the people behind them. It is absolutely important for us to have people who are absolutely professional and can be trusted.
When you are on the road for a while I am sure you see and experience many different things you might not even have known existed. Are there any stories that stand out in your mind as being exceptionally strange or odd? Horaz: During every album production we have had really hard strokes of fate in our private life. This is really strange and we hope for a normal production with the next ones!
What does the future hold for you guys as a band? Horaz: Hopefully passion, new impressions and ideas, friendship and a good time.
Any closing words? Horaz: Thanks for this interview and we hope for some reactions from the States when Procella Vadens is released.