without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
If I didn’t know any better, I would say that this album was recorded through the use of a time machine to go to the future and record the end of the world itself! This is pure unsaturated black metal in all of its cold fury! The album starts with a bit of a pointless intro but it does lead into the first song and it does fit the album. After that you get some really complex riffs, sick drumming, and amazing symphonic keyboards.
The guitar playing, as I mentioned before, has some really complex riffs. The guitars are all over the place but it still has some sense or organization. It’s really neat how they get the riffs to intertwine themselves with the keyboards. And they manage to have shrieking over top of that! This is an unmatched aural assault! The best example of the complexity of the guitar playing is on the song “I Am the Black Wizards”.
The keyboards are really what this album is all about. This is SYMPHONIC black metal after all. The keyboards go along with the riffs and really add atmosphere to this album. Without keyboards this album would be really boring and hardly worth listening to. This is one of the few albums/bands that uses keyboards and actually needs them. This is not your lame Dimmu Borgir keyboard playing just for the sake of keyboards. They are an integral part of the music and the album just would not work without them.
The drumming is the backbone of any metal album, especially a black metal one. The drums are slow but consistent and in time during the atmospheric sections where the keyboards take over and they are really fast with well-timed blast beats during the fast aggressive sections (yes, symphonic metal can be fast AND aggressive!!!). The best example of the drumming on this album is the little drum solo on the beginning of “Inno A Satana”.
The vocals are shrieky like all black metal vocals and to some this can get a little monotonous. The vocals on this album are more high pitched than most and you can hear the difference between Ihsahn and other black metal vocalists. The best part about the vocals is how he is able to shriek and scream all of the lyrics overtop of the already complex and powerful instrumental sections.
This album is a masterpiece of the black metal genre and Emperor themselves are all musical geniuses. I recommend this to anyone who is trying to get into black metal or anyone in the black metal scene who miraculously has not heard this yet.
- Beginning of “Into the Infinity of Thoughts”
- Atmospheric section in “Towards the Pantheon”
- The riffs to “I Am the Black Wizards”
- “Inno A Satana”