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Wow! That is the best way to describe this otherworldly first release by the mighty Emperor. In fact, this is probably one of the most immense and atmospheric albums in metal. The sound could never be emulated as coldly and darkly as it is here. Compared to the raw and primitive 'Transylvanian Hunger' by Darkthrone, this album goes all out on atmospherics. The choirs mixed with the icy guitars and demonic vocals make this album sound like it was forged by Satan himself.
The opening track, 'Into the Infinity of Thoughts', is a leviathan of a track to say the least. The eerie intro soon bursts into a barrage of pitch black evil, creating the kind of imagery that is seen on the album artwork. This can be said for every song on the album. Each track is a journey into a realm of despair and darkness, mainly due to the anguished vocals and inhuman choir sounds that blend perfectly together. Track 3 is probably the best example of this. Also, 'I Am the Black Wizards' is without a doubt the finest song on the album with both brutal metal sections and symphonic musical genius.
The main problem some people have with this record is the production quality. With these songs, though, I wouldn't have it any other way as the harsh and echoey overall sound is what gives the album its inhuman power. These anthems of pure evil needn't have the amazing production values of some bands today, as it would take away the atmosphere. Speaking of atmosphere, 'The Majesty of the Night Sky' has an opening riff that cannot be described. This is sheer musical perfection in the genre.
This is not an album that anyone can just 'whack' on in the background willy nilly. It must be listened to intently and taken in like the musical drug that it is. When the openings to some of the tracks kick in, I feel like I am opening a portal to another dimension. 'In The Nightside Eclipse' is a flawless, yet intimidating musical experience that has gone down in history as one of the most bleak and notoriously evil releases in metal. It is both beautiful and nightmarish, a vast tundra of black metal perfection.
Possibly one of the greatest metal albums of all time.