Emperor
As The Shadows Rise
[Nocturnal Arts]


Some of the best and most inspiring black metal that the band ever recorded, really bringing a feeling of true northern darkness into the music. This was recorded in the same general era as the first Mlp, and hence it displays several similarities to it within the context of sound and musical execution. In fact, these three tracks were actually part of the original "Wrath Of The Tyrant" side of the Lp split released in the early half of the decade, although one may have to strain particularly hard to recognize them due to the barbaric sound quality.

I havent decided whether I like them in their original form, or on the vinyl better, they both have their charecteristic ups and downs. On the one hand, I will forever be drawn towards the demo sound, because I can connect with it more on a personal level, and a more truthful level. However, being as the demo was recorded on a four track, there were obvious set- backs to the compilation process, one being the eradication of the layered vocal duality and the seperate guitar tracks.

The vinyl on the other hand, possess a more distorted quality to the sound which has been utilized particularly in the strain of ambient- depressive black metal hordes such as Birkenau, Burzum, Abyssic Hate, Judas Iscariot, and Graveland. It evokes a very predominant hyponotic side of the conscious, and also allows one to absorb the music, or be absorbed by the music much easier.

There are three tracks in total, all of them being as I said previously, on the split lp. I will review them each in short.

1. The Ancient Queen
Perhaps the best Emperor track of all time. One of the best displays of keyboards I have ever heard. The first harmony on this track kills. The direction changes a few times with a change of pace, and the induction of a few thrash riffs and other things. The end fades out in the fashion it began, letting the beginning riff fade out into silence.

2. Witches Sabbath
Interesting song which has a great chanting interlude about a minute in. Just to hear this part makes the song what it is. The rest of the track is devoted to a mix of hateful high-pitched screams and typical atmopsheric passages in the pridictable Emperor vein. Another excellent creation.

3. Lord Of the Storms
More generic sound resounding with the influence of Bathory and Hellhammer. The dual vocals in the beginning are great, being a mixture of Ishan's whelps and a sonic growl. Very fast and more direct than the last two tracks. Much less atmosphere, yet still thouroughly enjoyable.

Great three tracks on vinyl from Emperor. It's a shame they wasted it all.


2002 orodruin