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They May Be At Risk Of Losing Their Credibility - 85%

Nokturnal_Wrath, March 10th, 2014

Although the title of the review may lead you to think that this is a bad album, it's really not. It's some of the best black metal I've heard in a while, but when compared to the bands previous full lengths it's just lacking that something extra. Meadows of Nostalgia feels as ostensibly Imperium Dekadenz as one can possibly hope to find, feeling more of a mishmash of the bands previous ideas into one coherent package without adding any new life or flair to their music.

Maybe I'm just letting the bands previous albums cloud my judgement, but I can't help but feel this isn't as good as they have been. The problem with Meadows of Nostalgia is that it's just too Imperium Dekadenz for its own good. I'm not kidding, this is about as typical of this band as you can get and it sure as hell doesn't reach the same heights as what has come before. Look, I love Imperium Dekadenz but really, there sound isn't something that should be replayed over and over again without any subtle changes to their blueprints. There's nothing really challenging about this release, the same melodic yet dismal guitar lines, tortured vocals and gloomy instrumental passages are all what we've heard before, and admittedly well played and often verging on greatness, the band is definitely at risk of losing their credibility if they continue to churn out albums with little to no variation between them.

I think I'll focus on the positives because usually they're the easiest to critique. I like the gloomy, atmospheric riffs, they've very melodic, and at times actually being quite catchy as is the case with Aura Silvae. It's the most energetic, lively track on the album and unsurprisingly it's also the best, in fact it's probably one of the best black metal songs I've heard. I love the central riff, it's very melodic and atmospheric whilst being played at a particular blazing tempo. It also shows Imperium Dekadenz willing to experiment with different dynamics and tempo, shame the rest of the album doesn't hold up to this one track.

The rest of the tracks aren't bad per se, they're actually very good. The instrumental passages are as strong as ever, with Imperium Dekadenz creating some very beautiful yet mournful acoustic passages. Similar to Procella Vadens the album as a whole is pretty doomy. Der Unweg instantly comes to mind, keeping a relatively slow-mid paced tempo with some slower, atmospheric passages. The riffs in particular are suitably dejected and there's a certain riff that reminds of the whole black metal shoegazing phenomena, or more specifically of the band LantlĂ´s.

Okay, perhaps I was too harsh in saying that the band hasn't changed, but with the exception of those two tracks and some various moods and tones running throughout, musically the band has remained consistent. That's not really a problem though, I've loved the previous albums from this German duo and there's no reason to suggest that I wouldn't like this. It's a bit more lively than the previous albums, with more focus placed on speedier, melodic riffs. It certainly brings to mind their first album ...und die Welt ward kalt und leer. it's got the same blazing pace to it, but it's not as dark as that album. More focus was placed on sounding more melodic, comforting than what the band has dished out before, in fact it's probably a good introductory album to the band as it remains in keeping with their signature sound whilst being more accessible/easy listening.

Unfortunately, with the change to a more easily digested sound, much of the bands signature coldness has been removed. The music is certainly more melodic and there's a stronger sense of forward momentum, there's no really much ambient noodling but the songs have a stronger sense of purpose, moving to A to B in a much more urgent manner. Unfortunately, this prevents the band to reach the same atmospheric heights as before, and whilst Meadows of Nostalgia is a very atmospheric and indeed emotional album, it certainly lacks much of the esoteric nature of what came before. I guess that's to be expected though, the band seems to be opting for a more streamlined sound and thus the atmosphere isn't expected to be as provocative as it had been.

For what it's worth though, I enjoy it, it's probably the weakest of their discography but it's still better than a lot of black metal that has been released recently. I like the more focus placed on the melodic riffing and the overall accessible sound is quite nice, even if derivative. Whilst containing the best track the band has ever written; Aura Silvae, I often feel that the band suffers from a lack of identity and distinction and thus results in a rather anonymous and indistinct listen if you catch my drift. Still a commendable and brilliant release, I just long for the days when the band created more atmospheric, harder hitting music.

Aural Masterpiece... - 100%

DEATHPORTAL, July 8th, 2013

There are moments in time, whether great or small, where the moments will be still, the hours are lonesome, and we have nowhere to look but within. Throughout these introspective journeys, the ego is veiled and thoughts whisper truths of the heart and mind. These may be the core energy of our being; an extension of all life cloaked behind our bodies and world-weary false sense of self. To capture such abstract complexities, in a snapshot if you will, is no easy feat yet. However, throughout human existence, it has been proven achievable through some of mankind's greatest works of art. In March of 2013, Imperium Dekadenz contributed Meadows Of Nostalgia, once again tapping into the well of life; the things that exist not in front of us but those from within.

Following up 2010's Procella Vadens, Imperium Dekadenz has released what very well may be the most gorgeous black metal ever composed. From start to finish, Meadows Of Nostalgia is stunningly executed, an aural landscape of majestic and epic proportions. The album cascades sound with poetry. Themes of one's spirit trying to make sense of the shadows of consciousness and emotions are eloquently laid out before the listener.

While this album is deeply thought-provoking and heavy in its use of darkness, it is also very soothing. Not straying far from a traditional black metal sound, Meadows Of Nostalgia possesses a very progressive quality. It tends to keep the same mid tempo pace throughout and is interlaced with some acoustic and slower atmospheric passages. There are also some very nice sound samples buried within, most notably a campfire that burns as the song "Striga" fades out, that lend a meditative path for the listener to fully digest the album as it continues forth. The song structures rely heavily on building to a climax, but very gently as the songs tend to be longer in length, adding to the overall atmosphere and mystic of the record.

Stand out tracks on Meadows Of Nostalgia include "Aue der Nostolgie", "Aura Silvae", and "Tranen des Bacchus". This is an important album. Imperium Dekadenz has forged not only a black metal treasure to be added to your collection, but a work of art worthy of withstanding the test of time.
***Originally written for and by www.deathportal.net