Author: Craig Matthews
Metalphobia was lucky enough to have a chat with the guys behind Greek Black Metal outfit IMPERIUM INFERNALIS. They talked us through their latest release “Imago Dei”, the history of the band and their plans for the future. If you would like to read the review of the album please click here.
1.You’ve just released your second full length album “Imago Dei”, how did you find coming back to the studio?
Returning to the recording process is always a mixed set of feelings. It demands absolute focus and preparation to reach your full potential. Also, there are other contributing factors that render the process less of an enjoyment, such as the time constraints, and the absence of the other band members, as each member records with the metronome.Luckily, this time almost the entire record was recorded at our home studio, as we only did the vocal recordings at Groove Studio, and the mastering at Victor Santura’s Woodshed.
2.What was the creative process behind “Imago Dei?” was it a totally new idea or something you’ve been thinking of for a while?
Music wise the creative process was the same that we have had for the past 8 years. Everyone composes riffs, and then all together we decide what stays or not. The advantage of this approach is that it results in songs being multifaceted and not being repetitive. In regards to the concept of “Imago Dei”, It was an idea that we began shaping about 2 years before we started the recordings. As the title says, “imago Dei” is the image of God as projected upon humanity. It was a challenge to take this phrase and unfold it from an earthly perspective. Every aspect of the album has been driven by this perspective.
3.You’ve been playing together for over ten years, who inspired you to get together and start playing?*
I (Charon ) and Savage started jamming back in 2009 and quickly decided to get the band back together. I had previously completed the “Victims of Subhumanity” EP, when a gig opportunity came up and we decided to assemble a full line up. Since then we have only made two additions, The Omegha on guitars and Mr. Obscure who handles the lyrics. There is great chemistry between us, as we have known each other for years as friends and as band mates, so the ultimate inspiring factor is the joy of us exchanging ideas and playing together.
4.It’s been a few weeks since the release of Imago Dei”, how has the overall reaction from the fans been since?
Compared to our previous release “Choking on the stench of Mankind”, we are seeing an increasing amount of interest. We had a considerable amount of pre -orders and the orders are improving every week. The audience embraced “Imago Dei” since its digital release, and it has received really good reviews on magazines and webzines. It was the album of the month in the “Hellenic Assault” column of the Greek edition of Metal Hammer’s September issue.
5.You’ve been going since 2003, how have things changed for IMPERIUM INFERNALIS since then?
The one thing that has remained constant since the band’s beginning over ten years ago, is the need explore and express ourselves through the process of creating art. The entire line up changed in 2009, as aforementioned, and since then we have kept evolving in every way possible. In terms of music, we started out as part of the so called “Norwegian influenced Greek Black Metal” but that changed soon enough, to give its place to a more diverse and experimental style, much akin to great works from the late 90s and early 00slike “Rebel Extravaganza” “666 International” “Si Monumentum Requires Circumspice”, “Tenth Sublevel of Suicide” and many more.In regards to the underlying concept of each release, we were always exploring existential paths and seeking new ways to express our perspective on the horror that is called “Human Kind”.
6.Greece seems to be producing some great bands these days, what do you think of the Greek Metal scene?
We agree, Greece has produced some incredible bands in the Metal scene since the early 90s and the amount of quantity and quality of the bands has increased every year.Especially in Black Metal, many bands have been ambassadors of the Greek scene abroad, but we would prefer to not mention names as it would be too lengthy to cover everyone.
7.I saw you recently started touring again after a two year absence, how are you finding getting back on the road?
We have had 2 shows in the past 2 months. It feels great to hit the stage when you have something new to present to the audience. We were never fans of repeating ourselves in live shows and performing the same things every time. That’s why we took two years of absence from live shows, to focus on composing and recording the new album.
8.Mayhem was known for throwing pigs heads into the crowd at live shows, what could fans expect from an IMPERIUM INFERNALIS gig?*
Well, definitely not pig heads in their faces. We have a more “theatrical” approach to our performances. It is more like a mass where we preach and manifest the essence of Imago Dei, ensconced by a musical shroud.
9.You’ve been playing some shows around Greece, do you have any plans to tour further afield?
Yes, it’s in our future plans to visit other countries as well. We are actually discussing with a few people from the UK and Germany and it seems possible that we might be able to do it. Of course nothing is finalized yet, since something like this requires a perfect plan so as to not interfere with our everyday obligations.
10.Having recently appeared in a festival, would you say a standalone gig is better or do you prefer the chaos of a festival?
That really depends on the festival and the guys behind it. If it’s a mixed up genre fest it makes it more difficult because you don’t know what to expect from the audience.As such, we usually prefer standalone gigs where you have the ability to create a certain atmosphere and build a personal connection with the audience.
11.Now you have released “Imago Dei” What’s next for IMPERIUM INFERNALIS?
We have already started working on compositions for the next release. There will also be some more releases of Imago Dei, in tape and (potentially) vinyl editions.