Imperium Dekadenz – Procella Vadens (Underground Activists/Season of Mist)

Monday, 18th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Since there is such a preponderance of black metal, it’s becoming easier and easier to disseminate what is good and (as our British friends would say) “utter shite.” In fact, we can tell right off the bat if a black metal album is going to sink or swim. Such a gift has been afforded to us because of repeated listenings, obviously.

Furthermore, recent conversations this scribe has had with fellow musicians/acquaintances has further supplemented the notion that roughly 85% of modern black metal is for lack of a better term, crap. However, that doesn’t stop this stuff from coming out of the woodwork, nor does it deter Johnny-Corpsepaint-Basement from praising this stuff to no end. It’s a vicious cycle with no end in sight.

For Germany’s Imperium Dekadenz, they’re able to pass the litmus test rather quickly, based solely off album opener “Die Hoffnung Stribt…” Melding a gentle piano intro (think The Nutcracker) with swirling, melodious guitars (think Nemesis Divina-era Satryricon), ID pretty much earned its paycheck with one song.

Knowing full well that catching lightning in a bottle twice was a stretch, the rest of the album unfolded in predictable pattern, save for the excellent acoustic interlude “A La Nuit Tombante” and somber “An Autumn Serenade,” which has yet another marvelous acoustic break at the 4:42 mark. Beyond that, the band stays within the black metal boundaries, preferring to dole out mediocre, albeit cold, cold, cold atmospheres with the usual disposal of weapons at their side.

With no one outside of Dark Fortress being the slightest bit adventurous within the black metal realm, releases like Procella Vadens are now the norm. It’s not a bad thing, however, that log-jam of goon-faced Nords, eager-to-please Germans, and defensive Americans is going to become a ghastly sight. Then again, any regular black metaller would vouch for such a thing in a heartbeat…

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