Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
In the Nightside Eclipse
Genres: World Music, Rock, Metal
Listen to Samples
Beautiful (in a dark and ugly sort of way).
bay_area_thrasher | the middle of the pit | 06/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the album that took Black metal to another level. What I dig about this album is that it comes off as being progressive, but not pompous . This is really the last album Emperor put out before Ihsahn's technical ambitions, operatic vocals, and overblown experimentation with keyboards ruined the experience. In my opinion, this is their creative and artistic peak in which they were able to tell when enough was enough. The drumming is great, the bass is inaudible, but I'm confident that it's good, and the guitar work is magnificent. There is also a light, concious dash of keyboards thrown into the mix. Many people have complained about the production of this album. Who cares? Why do people gripe so much about the production of certain albums? Besides, the production isn't THAT bad. Go listen to a Darkthrone album. THAT'S bad (not that I'm knocking Darkthrone. I like them for different reasons). I have another thought that I'd like to get off my chest: Iv'e heard some people call this band "Wimperor". Wimperor? Give me a break. If being creative, original and talented is wimpy, then these guys are some of the biggest wimps in Black metal. Black metal enthusiasts revel in this album because it stands out as being original in a subgenre polluted with countless Darkthrone ripoffs who think that putting out albums made up of bargain basement production and blindingly fast, inexcusably sloppy material makes them "true". The highlights of this album include "Into the infinity of thoughts", "The burning shadows of silence", "Beyond the great vast forest", and "I am the black wizards". The covers of Bathory's "A fine day to die" and Mercyful fate's "Gypsy" are very well done (even though Ihsahn sounds absurd trying to imitate King Diamond. Stick with screaming man! Let the King handle the falsetto voals!). Also, I encourage everyone to read these lyrics. Yes, they are Satanic, but they're written like poems which makes them more interesting. Overall, this is a very solid album with no filler and I would recommend it to anyone who is new to Black metal.STAY TRUE TO METAL AND STAY TRUE TO YOURSELVES!"
Beneath the Moon, Dissapear'd into the Nocturnal Forest
Barry Dejasu | Rehoboth, Massachusetts | 10/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Atmosphere is what makes up the real trait of black metal. Some examples of many black metal bands are identified by certain traits (most commonly tremolo guitar riffs, gutter production, screeching vocals, and evil lyrics). These are what cause such controversy as to whether or not a band in question is "true" or not. However, I disagree; I think that if a black metal band carries the right atmosphere in their music, they should be considered black metal - period. Emperor is (or, as many troglodytes hold the "early stuff" accusation tight to this band) such an example. Atmosphere runs thick through their music, and not just from the above mentioned traits; it is, like the metal genre as a whole, a matter of FEELING, and not of actual sound, which defines a "truth" in the sound of a band.
Take "Into the Infinity of Thoughts," for example. The soaring keyboard melodies during one of the verses (with a choir of female voices) and the thin (but obvious) guitars all harmonize into a dense, extremely dark atmosphere that is sinister and ominous and at once simply beautiful. This multi-instrumental harmony slowly drops in timbre and tone until you are trapped in an icy night of evil, where the moon grins down upon your lost soul. This long song (over 7 ½ minutes) is the summation of all of Emperor's finest qualities, and could be the defining black metal song, period.
"The Cosmic Keys to My Recreations and Times" starts off with an awesome guitar riff (awesome in a musical aspect, too) that is so menacing, giving an image of the light of day being obliterated by sudden clouds that appear out of nowhere...angry clouds, thick and heavy, and trailing beneath and behind them a sweeping layer of rain which quickly corrodes all peace and solitude.
As much as a soundtrack for the imagination as Emperor's sound can be, there are also quite a lot of technical sonic feats that they accomplished. Faust is quite the skilled drummer; the blast-beats of snares and high-hats/cymbals, his ultra-fast double-bass rumbles, and his precision fills (just listen to his work on "Beyond the Great Vast Forest") make for some of the best metal drumming of all time. The guitars (laid out by founder/former drummer/guitarist Samoth and vocalist/guitarist/leader Ihsahn are usually fast tremolo shreds that hardly ever have a distinctive metal "crunch," but rather sweeping layers of flurry and fury. The occasional leads and single-note picking (like during the intro to "Towards the Pantheon") are stunning, and obviously took a lot of hard work in both composition and execution. The bass...well, with the (purposely) harsh production, it's extremely hard to make out any bass lines at all, but it's hard to think that there'd be anything less than perfect here (I know Tchort is a damn fine songwriter from his work in Green Carnation). And finally, Ihsahn's synth/keyboards add the perfect final touch to the already-dense howl of Emperor's sound, most often creating female-vocal choirs, and perfectly used to help complement and often emphasize the harmonized melodies.
Emperor is surrounded by much revere and lore, largely due to their involvement in the rise of black metal in the early `90's, and the crime wave which came with it. Angry youths committing acts of vandalism, assault, suicide, and murder were already bad enough in themselves; however, the band members of Emperor had their own participations in such crimes. Tchort was sentenced for burglary; Samoth was convicted for the burning down of a historical church; and Faust is in prison for murdering a homosexual who allegedly made a pass on him. Such things add an extra (and dark) vibe to Emperor's lore, making their music so much darker.
Finally, this album has been remastered (to an extent), and includes two bonus covers: "A Fine Day to Die" (Bathory) and "Gypsy" (Mercyful Fate). These bonus tracks are okay, but hardly make this album much better than it is. However, the remastered sound is interesting - I have not heard the original recording, but while the sound on this album is still frosty and rough, I can clearly hear (most of) the instruments. This remastering job was done without sacrificing the production trait which may or may not have anything to do with the sound of black metal. If there was a crystal-clear remaster of this album, would the production kill the atmosphere? Probably not, because that's just a surface-value cliché; Emperor was too great for such a petty trend. Atmosphere was their game, and that cannot be touched.
There is really not much else to say about Emperor that hasn't been said already. They are still (through this album, especially) the defining black metal band in a society which raises redundant arguments about the labeling of an artistic form. Black metal isn't about an actual sound, and it isn't about themes or images: it's about atmosphere. Emperor knew this - and it shows."
The Definitive Norwegian Black Metal Album
Cathy Anderson Berry | Elmhurst, IL | 09/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When i first purchased "In the Nightside Eclipse", i was not all that familar with the genre of "Black Metal". I really had no idea what to expect. The first time i listened to it, i was a bit dissapointed, mostly on account of the production. But as i got more familar with the songs, i started to realize how amazing this album really is. The booming drums, the fast guitar, and the harsh vocals are very cool, but what actually brings out the true black, icy atmophere of this album IS the production. Just the way everything blends together, and creates this GIANT sound makes this whole album seem like an epic, dark journey. Every song has this type of feeling, but are all unique in their tempo, drum beats, and guitar riffs. What else makes the atmosphere so vast and epic is the choir and strings in the background of the metal. They are perfectly in tune with the blaring guitar, and add so much affect to the feel of the album that you can't get out of anything else.
Although this was the first, and the least complex out of any of Emperor's albums, the pure icy, black, and epic atmosphere of this album cannot be matched. True black metal fans know that Emperor's "In The Nightside Eclipse" is the definitive black metal album."