Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2014
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Hey, this is not bad. Not bad at all. - 88%

Lade, March 29th, 2009

This is some good shit. No, seriously. While I can understand that some may bitch about the production being all too "kvlt" or whatever (seeing that Emperor is normally known for their stellar production values), the truth is that the purposedly bad production really adds a certain kind of atmosphere to this release. I would compare the production to that of your average demo - c'mon people, this isn't Transilvanian Hunger!

Anyway, looking past the production the first thing one notices is the very obvious line drawn between the two parts of this compilation (the Wrath of the Tyrant demo and the Emperor EP). The release starts off with the four tracks from the EP, and I have to say that they are really 'up there' with In the Nightside Eclipse - "I Am the Black Wizards" needs no introduction, as it is probably one of the most famous Emperor songs, and "Cosmic Keys to my Creations & Times" is also pretty much just the same as on ItNE (except for a somewhat worse production, which I actually find brings the song a more 'evil' feel). The two newcomers, however, "Wrath of the Tyrant" and "Night of the Graveless Souls" are the nice surprises here. They are simply awesome, and has a whole other 'feel' than most of the material which would later resurface on ItNE.

Moving on to the Wrath of the Tyrant demo this is probably where many will be disappointed by the very 'demoish' production, but hey what did you expect, it's a fucking demo! At some places the production is bad enough to almost border into Ildjarn territory (and that's really saying something). Speaking of Ildjarn, I found the demo version of 'Night of the Graveless Souls' to be very Ildjarnish in its repetitive drumming and noise production. It's also a good track to listen to in order to compare it which the Emperor EP, and oh boy are there differences! First of all the somewhat neoclassical keyboardmongling of the EP version is totally gone, which makes for a very goddamn raw experience and secondly Ihsahns trademark vocals are also severely 'harmed' by the production - leaving him sounding like your average Mayhem wannabe, which is kinda a shame..
A lot of the songwriting on the demo is raw as fuck, and shows none of the complexity that Emperor would later be known for. Tracks like 'Moon Over Kara-Shehr', 'Forgotten Centuries' and 'Witches Sabbath' have a lot of passages with very primitive riffing - the later even sometimes sounding a bit like Burzums 'Black Spell of Destruction' and 'Lost Wisdom'.
Also of note is the drumming done by Samoth - it's not outstanding, but it's good and gets the job done fine.

All in all I would consider this a necessity for all and any Emperor fanboys, as it shows well how Emperor has progressed from your everyday tr00 and gr1m black metal band to the originators of symphonic black metal that they later became. Anyone else with a fancy for raw black metal demos, or early Burzum, also ought to check this out, as it has more than enough of raw black material.