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Emperor - IX Equilibrium
Review: When the impetus is gone but the motivation remains, often what occurs is something like this album. Technically each piece of it is well-assembled and of a coherent musical lineage, however the album as a whole fails to express what had once made Emperor albums great, that is, a sense of grandeur in existential experience. By tearing out the base of the perceptual frame in which the listener operated, Emperor were able to articulate thematic conflict which revealed a depth to otherwise indistinguishable territory. Here there are very clear songs, and the cuteness has begun, which we can witness in the full facial shots of the Emperor boys blended into the cover, the clever songtitles with little relevance, and often trivial mechanisms in othewise potent song concepts. It is far from doofus music, but what separated Emperor from over a million other shredder groups is that they once had a desire to write a form of majesty in emotion through music, but now their passions are in the work aspect of producing another album.