If there is any time in history that is death metal it gotta be the Roman era. Decadence, violence, wars, power, corruption. You name it. IMPERIUM is a fitting name for a death metal band. Answers by Mike Alexander.
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-It wasn’t hard to come up with names for the initial shortlist. I am obsessed with Roman history, and came up with a whole list of names that resonated with me. Then I asked Rob (former founding member also from Trigger The Bloodshed) – to help choose. He decided Imperium was best. Despite the fact that some other underground bands have also had a go at this name. The name means a whole lot to me as it literally defines Roman power and authority. To me, you can feel the weight of the might, majesty, and lasting legacy of Roma down through the centuries with this word.
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have?
-I like it very much when people describe our sound as for fans of Nile in particular. Nile to me define Death Metal. No-one else has riffs the literally feel millennia old and that makes it feel like the sky is almost literally falling on your head when you hear them. So it is a massive honour be described even in the same breath as them, even though I feel that we in no way get to those amazing depths. So, in a way, Imperium is my own personal tribute to Nile. But Origin and Behemoth in particular are also a massive influence on me. Behemoth’s sheer force is such a blast, and I love Origin’s utter insanity. They are a live force not to be missed.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Yes, we very much have to think differently when arranging the music when playing slow, and I have have to say this is the hardest part to get right. The fast riffs come so easily to me , it’s a natural style to me, but my favourite parts for sure are the slower crushing sections – and yet I definitely find these harder to write and get right. Definitely much more thought is required for these sections.
You have some releases to your name. Which one are you the most proud of?
-Well, as much as I am massively proud of the debut Sacramentum (and the awesome dark artwork we had for that one) – particularly as it was such good times in making it, it is definitely the new release Titanomachy that is the one that means most to me. It has everything I’ve ever wanted to say with music, and the Doug’s insane – make that INSANE- vocals have kicked the whole experience into outer space. He has transformed this album into a raging best that I could never have foreseen. It makes me very excited for the potential for a follow up!
Is it hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-Yes, of course, it is very hard to get exposure. We just use the usual route of Facebook and YouTube posts – so perhaps more could be done in future. The Facebook and YouTube posts to get some momentum so far, the results have been good at least. What could really help now we are signed to Ultimate Massacre Productions would be getting into some more mainstream magazines. Right now that seems like just a hope.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-Thats a hard one to answer… I think a great album cover should capture the imagination in some way, whether it is very dark (like the Sacramentum art) or very vivid (like Titanomachy). In my opinion it should also tell the story or capture the mood of the albums subject matter. The artwork for Titanomachy (courtesy of the amazing Giannis Nakos at Remedy Art Design) is very striking indeed though and I think this draws attention the album and the band. That’s a good thing! I am very proud of both sets of artwork we have had created for us, they are very evocative of the ancient world – which is vital to Imperium.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-That’s another interesting question. I think in the modern era now, whilst there are vital scenes particularly strong to certain regions (I really like to follow the Greek scene which is very strong right now for example), I think of course that the Internet has made the world a much smaller place so I simply just like to feel part of the global death metal scene. It’s all one to me. I don’t think the metal scene is quite has strong here as in some of the hotspots on the continent – or the USA of course, but it’s certainly not weak here, as the attendances on both legs of the recent Nile tour I hope proved.
What does the future hold?
-What does the future hold? How many of us can ever be sure of that. But right now I’m in a frenzied state of mind working on the riffs and structures for the follow up to Titanomachy. I am very motivated for that now. It’s a gargantuan task, cos we want more of everything… the fast bits faster and just as catchy… but also more slow and heavy sections, and even heavier of course… that is ALWAYS the ONLY goal. The ONLY thing that matters`! So, time will tell if we achieve this. As for anything else, lets see what the reaction to this album is, and who comes along too, maybe to add some new dimensions and possibilities to Imperium.