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Emperor - In the Nightside Eclipse
Review: Dark expansive panoramas of emotional discontent and spiritual violence underly the often beautiful and intricately conceived songs of Emperor. The articulation of complexity distinguishes this band from most popular or underground composers, although the basic elements are very similar: crossing structures of fragments of scales, interacting in power chord DNA nirvana between the greater movements of the song.
The conception of epic structural signatures to be deconstructed over a landscape of song, balanced with the chaos of sprawling vocal and dissonant timbre and rhythm of guitars, and use of keyboards to support riffs and transitions with separate and dissonant but harmonizing melodies, distinguish Emperor from the other bands working this style.
Riffs and their structural permutations lay out the basic virus for a song, augmented with sweeping keyboards and stampeding drumbeats, guided by the facile voice that runs through a vaudeville catalog of caricature charades. The patterns are often scales melted and bent like wire into melodic riffs that outline a rhythm of inevitability behind the music, a dark powerful destined suffering.
Percussion work carries the song by shifting a framework of inevitability around the fantastic chaos of guitar noise and simple rhythmic patterns; unfolding architectural pseudopods of power chord scales descend into the panoramic expanse of rhythm, stirring it with the chaos that engenders the evolution of the next phrase.
This is the method of composition; each song within this construction is musical, intense, alive, and violent. Also sad, melancholic, dark and fatalistic, these songs breathe an emotional nihilism but a deep inner hope for the powers of darkness -- to invoke the obscure in rebellion against the normative powers of society. Anarchistic and free, music whips through tracks that resemble more an album than a collection of songs.
Abundant variety arises from simple essential ideas, sometimes tedious where it does not expand any relevance to the reader but interesting, intriguingly expressive in its motions. Intensely composed and expressive in its range of context.