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Old Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon, and Kvist.

I think Mutiilation's "Remains of a ruined, dead, cursed soul" comes a lot closer to this dramatic style than many of the bands mentioned. Admittedly there are no keyboards on this album, but t is incredibly dramatic and atmospheric in, sometimes in a similar way to ITNE.

This is the timeless style and at least for myself it will never get old regardless of updates and revisions. Every time I hear the medieval/romantic/symphonic style done right I'm utterly displaced for that time period. A lot of good bands mentioned here with subtle differences from the ITNSE standard.

Sirius is a great band that seems to summon a medium of Emperor's entire catalog in "Aeons of Magick." Great production and mixing, top-notch musicianship and the keyboardist seems to bludgeon the listener with a prominent but cooperative and non-dominating role.

Since Kataxu was mentioned there might as well be a Sunwheel and Vesania suggestion since they all share members and have a related approach. Both are projects of AnubiSS (also known as Orion who is now the bassist of Behemoth) that interpret this style in a sharp and cutting manner. They seem to circumvent the bullshit and deliver METAL above all else that is ripping, gripping and mysterious. The ONLY thing that might turn some people off about these projects is that I notice a lot of similarity between mid-era Dimmu Borgir (especially Spiritual Black Dimensions), though I'm the only person I've ever known to have pointed this out. Between Kataxu, Sunwheel, Thunderbolt, and Vesania, there is a common denominator that tries to give Poland and alternative voice and identity when concerning Black Metal.

tl:dr: worth investigating are
SIRIUS: "Aeons of Magick"
SUNWHEEL: "Industry of Death"
VESANIA: "Frostfire Arckanum"
KATAXU: "Hunger for Elements"
THUNDERBOLT: "Sons of Darkness"


Even ITNE is an incredibly bestial album; it just gets its reputation because people hear keyboards (and sung vocals on "Inno a Satana") and instantly think of bands like Summoning-

Having listened only to Minas Morgul, I can say that at least on said album, Summoning has some very aggressive moments - see the end of "Marching Homewards" for a more obvious example.

Anyways, since the thread's been necroed, some thoughts:
- Satyricon really doesn't do it for me. "Dark Medieval Times" has an interesting production and some atmospheric sounds, but the composition really falters when placed up against something like ITNE; it feels too random.
- Having listened to a lot of 'symphonic metal' bands, I can say that when artists bring in the orchestration, the metal invariably gets simplified. Sometimes the effect is drastic, compare "Beyond Sanctorum" to "Theli". One could argue arrangements for many instruments require less complexity per instrument to achieve the overall same effect, but arguing how technical music should be in general is a dead end.
- Since classical technique and metal aren't exactly compatible (the need for constant drumming has not been completely absolved, even by black metal), one route may be to research and develop new techniques for Western instruments to incorporate them more effectively into metal. See At The Gates' debut for an example of violin - while there are some classical style passages, there's a tinge of medievalish folk - for instance, the short piece at the end of the title track - that significantly increases the usefulness of the instrument on the album.

With Therion, the metal got simplified before teh symphonic elements got added.

Kataxu Hunger of Elements was bad from what I can remember, but I like Roots Thunder. The case is, it is not so solid - it plays tricks with you. There is nothing like ITNE, either in aesthetics or execution. But similar thread could be opened for Burzum or Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger etc., which theoretically should be easier to recreate than ITNE, yet somehow nobody managed to succeed at it. Kitsch, and utilization of artificial associations on lowest level is what often prevents this style from being what it wants to be . In order to work, it must force such condition, when you know that you should associate certain motifs with beauty, but on basis of very facile convention, more than those motifs to be really beautiful out of themselves. Limbonic have good moments, but they always make some mistake in their songs - be it stupid sample, voice, synth, or whatever which makes it pompous and stupid. The first two Legions of Doom are good but they are not on the same compositional level as ITNE, and they are rawer, more like Emperor's demos. Gehenna's first got one good track, second about three, and third none. I've got first Setherial and it's quite good, truly similar to Emperor and Kvist albeit also have rather few standout tracks, and production which definitely makes reception of its subtleties difficult. There are few nice tracks from Nocturnal Mortum, but they are more on folkish side, while rest clearly reveals their Russian soul. Or, to be more precise, vices and deficiencies commonly associated with it. And Satyricon, much like Behemoth, never created a good record - they were always molested by various problems. As well as that part of Polish scene, which were spoiled by Spiritual Black Dimensions and Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia worship, or by being typical Polish death metal with keyboards, ending as a grotesque circus.

I think that important elements of style is present on first Sacramentum, and maybe Vinterland's Welcome To My Last Chapter.

This is the timeless style and at least for myself it will never get old regardless of updates and revisions. Every time I hear the medieval/romantic/symphonic style done right I'm utterly displaced for that time period. A lot of good bands mentioned here with subtle differences from the ITNSE standard.



Yeah, this is the Black Metal I first got into; mid 90's, quasi-symphonic, sorta complex, sometimes ridiculous and really, the last major development within the genre.

Those interested in this style might find the Apotheosis post in audiofile enjoyable. This suggestion comes with a warning of extreme cheese factor, but if you like this style then much of the experimentation would be welcomed. The MyDyingBride-esque electric violin sound has always been a favorite of mine. It was great to hear that make an appearance.