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Emperor's third album, IX Equilibrium, got a mixed reception upon it's release, some said that this is another fantasic album from the Black Metal masters while others proclaimed that IX Equilibrium was the beginning of the end of Emperor's rule. In short, I belong to the former although I can understand the latter group fustrations with IX Equilibrium.
1. Trym's drumming: Granted he's not in the same class as Faust but he has got potential to be a great drummer, his main problem is that he has an urge to blastbeat whenever he can, this doesn't suit Emperor's style at all and it costs the band a few points here.
2. Ihsahn attempting high pitched vocals: sorry Ihsahn but that is not your territority, you just sound twice as 'girly' as that munchkin Justin Timberlake.
3. The Guitars and Keyboards punch up: Emperor pulled off the "wall of sound" effect well with ItNE but it just doesn't work as well here, no thanks to Trym's blastabation.
OK, that's the bad points out of the way, now onto the good points.
1. Atmosphere: The "wall of sound" falls flat on it's face here but the atmosphere in a good BM album makes up for it.
2. Power of the vocals: Bar the high pitched nonsense, Ihsahn can pull off harsh vocals as well as operatic singing, although it's not his best vocal performance on an album, Insahn on his day can still duke it out with the rest of them.
The good parts of the album will get overlooked because of Trym's drum raping (I guess he was that sexually fustrated by the recording of the album) and thus the album itself will be overlooked as a result, but like my review of Aborym's "With No Human Intervention", this is an album that can divide the Metal community. Not really recommended though unless you are willing to look beyond Trym's drum rape.