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The start of an Empire? - 85%

19ThePreacher88, April 15th, 2010

I just listened to this EP twice back-to-back in order to get my bearings for where I wanted to go with this review, and I think I've finally got it.

This was Emperor's first official release if I'm correct, (and also possibly one of the first symphonic black metal albums), but for what it's worth, it's really fucking good. I'm not one for too much black metal, but for some reason this band is appealing to me. This black metal EP from 1993 is nothing short of a symphonic, aggressive little masterpiece. Everything from the kick-ass cover art to the dark, synthesized keyboards and epic choir singing, this is a completely revolutionary album that speaks straight from the depths of Darkness himself. The under-produced instruments just add to the effect, and they even stop to offer some good ole' breakdowns.

One of the things I really find appealing about this EP is that it mixes many different styles of music; from classical, to satanic death metal, to even showing their thrash metal influences. It's obvious that they drew inspiration from early Slayer and Venom, which makes this even more enjoyable. Symphonic black metal is one style of music that I'll have to look more into, and it's all thanks to this four-song EP from Emperor.

And now that I'm done praising this record, I'll delve into what I dislike about it. The vocals could use more variety, for starters. I know, I know, "Get the fuck outta here!!!", right? I understand that black metal is notorious for their high-pitched screams as vocals, but it can get pretty repetitive and slightly annoying. Gladly, though, the poor production of of the music itself drowns out the vocals most of the time, so it doesn't take away from the awesome instrumental performance. Other than that, I'm a type of person that would like to hear this with some more brutal sounding elements, you know? Faster, heavier, and more of the darker sections rather than fantasy-glorifying keyboards.

So all in all, this EP gets a well-deserved 85% from me, and it'll certainly get more listens in the future.