Imperium Dekadenz: obsessed with ancient Rome and ready to do black metal battle
Host to some of the most devastating battles in the history of the Roman Empire, Imperium Dekadenz’s native Black Forest has also inspired a scintillating new path for black metal
The sounds, scope and attitude of black metal have inexorably been linked to the landscapes and surroundings of the movement’s creators. Nurturing the tales and lore that has formed much of its subject matter has given the musicians themselves a sense of wonderment and scale from which to draw breath.
Though initially taking their cues from Norway’s bands and bleak but beautiful scenery, German duo Imperium Dekadenz have forged a path and identity of their own, forming a deep connection with the ancient history, traditions and majesty of their native Black Forest.
In particular, it’s the Forest’s intrinsic bond with the Roman Empire that gives vocalist and guitarist Horaz and drummer Vespasian a wealth of inspiration to mine. The pair take their names from a Roman poet and Emperor respectively; Imperium Dekadenz is a quote from the 1979 film Caligula; and the title of the new album, Dis Manibvs, is an inscription used on Roman graves, meaning ‘Ghosts of death’ or ‘To the Gods’.
“The history of the Black Forest is a longing for something you can’t reach,” explains Horaz of his home’s captivating pull and rich history. “It’s almost like fantasy when you’re a child and you see a Roman bath and a fortress founded by Vespasian, so we imagined the Legions marching through the woods hunting the German tribes. The period is a mixture of darkness and brutality. It was an epic time.”