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A preview for things to come - 98%

Black_Metal_Bastard, April 13th, 2004

Everyone knows who these guys are, and everyone knows these classic songs.

After the great Wrath... demo, the band went into a real studio to record these tracks. We get two new ones and two re-recorded Wrath... songs. The new songs, I am the Black Wizards and Cosmic Keys To My Creations and Times are excellent, epic songs. They show the spirit of Emperor at such a young age, yet are not pretentious or boring. These two would make it to In the Nightside Eclipse, with even more keyboards and a more epic feel as well.

The two old songs, Wrath of the Tyrant and Night of the Graveless Souls are in better form here, with a tad better production and the addition of some keys here and there. When I say better production, I don't mean Abyss production, or even Grieghallen. This is still very raw, and the guitars coming off as loud buzzes in all the chaos. Ihsahn's vocals are raspy, high pitched wails that sound tortured. Faust's drumming is excellent. Fast, precise, thunderous. Samoth is now on guitar for this, and he is excellent too. Mortiis plays the bass and at times it is audible, you just have to listen to this more than once to hear it.

This is essential Emperor right here. If you want to check these guys out, this is highly recommended. This is one of my favorite Emperor releases, along with In the Nightside Eclipse. Black Metal fans, eat your heart out!