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One of the Best Mainstream BM CDs Ever. - 92%

PseudoGoatKill, July 27th, 2004

Anthems is one of the best Symphonic black metal CD's out on the market. Filled with an eerie atmosphere that gave me the feeling that I was walking in a dense forest during the thick of night, this cd has calmed my soul, only to quickly crush it, and then calm it down again.

The talent on this cd is absolutely amazing when it's done correctly. Don't get me wrong I love the screams and rapid playing that Emperor does on this cd, but there are two songs on here that feel like fillers to me. “The Acclamation of Bonds” and “In Longing Spirit” are the two songs on this album that in my opinion could have been left off the cd. The songs themselves are not bad. The guitars, synthesizer, and drums are excellent and so are the vocals. The biggest problem I have with these two songs is that I always get the feeling that I’ve listened to them before on other tracks that were a lot better. To put it bluntly these two tracks are the weakest.

Other than those two songs this cd is one of the best black metal cd’s out there. The best tracks are the ones that incorporate the clean/melodic vocals into the songs. Stand out tracks are;

Alsvartr (The Oath): This is the opening track of the cd. The entire song is filled with a nocturnal like atmosphere that slowly builds to the climax that leads into “Ye Entrancemperium”
Both songs seemingly go together, with Alsvartr being the calmer half of Ye Entrancemperium’s brutal side. The guitars are fast, and an amazing display of talent is shown. The vocals are furious and insanely quick, as are the drums.
Thus Spake the Nightspirit is another brilliant song on the cd. The biggest highlight of this song is when Ihsahn goes from the trademark black metal scream growl to a cleaner more melodic set of vocals towards the end of the song. Combined with chilling effects of the guitar and keyboard and the rhythm of the drums this song instantly sends a chill down my spine.
The best song on this entire album, the one song that displays Emperor’s full talent is With Strength I Burn. Clocking in at 8:17 this song displays all sides of Emperor. The heavy side, the fast side, the atmospheric side, and the melodic side. If this were the only song I liked on the CD I would still give it a review of a 60. Yes this song is that good.

Should you buy this album? Fuck yes you should! Which version should you get? Will I got the re-release with the live version of The Loss and the Curse of Reverence used for $5.99. It truely depends on if you want the original, or the re-release. Either way you must get this cd.