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Perfection - 100%

Perpetual_Winter, April 2nd, 2005

I’m going to make a bold statement right now. Many many people will disagree with it, but I really don’t care. You cannot take 4 songs off of any Emperor full length and get a better combination of songs than this EP, which of course, was on a split with the black metal/Viking gods Enslaved (their side entitled Hordane's Land), its also available on the CD version of “Wrath of the Tyrant”.
This EP is flawless. It starts out with the ultimate version of “I am the Black Wizards.” Sure, this track is also on In The Nightside Eclipse, but the underproduction of this version just helps create the atmosphere that was intended for the song (a song about one dark being controlling all evil or “black wizards”). The following just continue in the same vein of music as “I am the Black Wizards.” It is black metal with absolutely lots of memorable riffs (for those not familiar Emperor is not minimalistic), harsh tormented vocals, and keyboards that do not overwhelm the music. The keyboards are not a featured instrument and that is simply the way black metal should use keyboards if at all. The drumming is very punkish on this when they leave the blast beats, which happens quite often. Faust is not the drummer that Trym is, but the drumming on this album is fits the music very well, and he doesn’t constantly use the same fills (and its not triggered which in this type of music just sounds stupid).

Production-wise the guitars are thin, and there is a definite hiss; you really can’t hear the bass all that well, but that is expected in this style of music; the drums don’t drown anything out they are perfect in the mix the bass and snare sounds are good; and the vocals aren’t too loud and the music doesn’t ever drown it out. In my opinion this is where Emperor peaked. Most people will disagree with me and that is fine. I do respect all of Emperor’s work, but in the end I always find myself coming back to this EP.