In The Nightside Eclipse - Emperor

reviewed by lec** | Thursday, November 05 2009 @ 00:55:55 GMT        

Cover art

In The Nightside Eclipse

Release date: February 21, 1994
Length: 59:54
Genre: Black metal

  1. Intro
  2. Into the Infinity of Thoughts
  3. The Burning Shadows of Silence
  4. Cosmic Keys to My Creations and Times
  5. Beyond the Great Vast Forest
  6. Towards the Pantheon
  7. The Majesty of the Night Sky
  8. I Am the Black Wizards
  9. Inno a Satana
  10. A Fine Day to Die
  11. Gypsy
Reviews » Music

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Emperor. If you haven't heard of it, you don't listen to black metal. But then again, what's the motivation behind listening to black metal? Even the name of the genre sounds revolting, evil. Well that's exactly what it is; carnal, evil, clawing, primitive and ear-splittingly noisy. I enjoy my Bach and Schubert, but sometimes it's good to just get away from the order and subtlety, and throw some venison to the proverbial vultures of your more primitive nature.

Certain metalheads are just fine with listening to black metal all the time. I don't share the feeling, because it's just too tiring to listen to it exclusively. You really need to have motivation to listen to black metal all the time. I spent about two or three months listening to all the classic black metal bands and nothing else, including Mayhem, Darkthrone, Beherit, Burzum, Bathory and Satyricon. It was a fantastic experience, real refreshing. The old black metal albums can get pretty dull pretty quickly, though, unless it truly grows on you. Not Emperor, though.

Emperor is so different from other black metal that you can't believe musicians this talented remained underground and played such extreme and obscure music. For example, most of Mayhem's work focuses on the aggressive quality of black metal: it's aggressive and loud, but not so strong as far as the melodies go. In practically all Emperor albums, the melody is of vital importance. In any music genre, if your tunes are good, your music is good. Emperor's most famous songs like I am the Black Wizards and Inno A Satana are the best-composed ones. All human ears, even the cracked and damaged ones that metalheads have, inherently recognise and appreciate good melodies.

The album in question - In The Nightside Eclipse - is a jewel in the crown of the black metal genre. It's considered by many people to even be the best black metal record ever. Usually, the criteria for "best black metal record ever" is equivalent for all intents and purposes with "black metal record with the worst production quality", however what's truly good is truly good, and ultimately must be recognised as such.

After you overcome the inital shock of this rather inaccessible genre of music (it could take years of getting used to metal bit by bit to be able to fully appreciate this release), you'll find that behind the aggressive drumming, irate guitar playing and Ihsahn's awesome shrieking lies a musical gem that has been carefully wrapped to give you the listening pleasure that only Emperor can provide. Think towering castles where immensely powerful emperors reside, in the bitterly cold mountains, behind the vast and black forest that is home to the most savage beasts you can think of. All the time, the soothing night sky twinkles above. That is the image I get when listening to this album, and that is how the music works. If you can put yourself into that mindset, you'll see this album for what it is.

Describing the tracks is pointless. Each is the ultimate demonstration of power and grandeur, usually mixed with wrath and carnality. The majestic feel of each track is not lost in the drone of the endless drumming, it is fortified by it and the consumer of the music, if ready, is consumed himself. Completely absorbed.

It's therefore no surprise that this album is one I can always listen to. I can't say the same for Mayhem or Darkthrone, because I need to be in the right mood for them. This album falls short by nothing at all. My single complaint is that Emperor's other albums (in particular the Reverence EP) are so good, I usually can't decide what to listen to first.

Cannot be given any less than full points. An inspiring and musically sound black metal classic that completely changed my mind about the genre. Since it is black metal, it's more extreme than your average playlist, but very refreshing. And remarkably subtle. Must have, must listen for anyone that can appreciate it (sure you might not like it, but take my word for it, if properly divined, it's truly awesome).

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