Emperor - Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Black Metal Gods
8 songs (43:58)
Release year: 1997
Emperor, Candlelight
Reviewed by Daniel

I push play on my stereo. As I begin to hear the dark, mystical guitars I can feel my heart beginning to pound faster; soon enough Ihsahn begins to whisper his oath to the nightspirit; at the same time I can feel the adrenaline slowly invading my system. Suddenly Ihsahn’s words sound strong and determined through the speakers: “O'Nightspirit, I am one with thee, I am the eternal power, I am the Emperor!!!!”; immediately after, the dark, mystical atmosphere is replaced by a triumphal march filled with epic trumpets and war drum rolls, images of a vast and powerful army marching through the Norwegian forests, guided by it’s glorious emperor fill my mind.

The intro is over and Ye Entrancemperium (which was co-written by Euronymous) explodes in my stereo; for the next 40 minutes I’ll be in complete awe and ecstasy; no album ever in the history of Metal has ever filled me with such an incredible feeling as this one; I still can’t believe that after playing this album a thousand times, it still blows me away with each listen.

Ihsahn and Samoth’s writing skills as well as their musicianship are fully displayed on this album, everything in it is just perfect; the song structures are glorious: complex enough to maintain you surprised and impressed through all the song, but not complex enough to make it feel forced; the guitar work is astonishing, going from elaborated, ultra-fast tremolo picking guitar riffs, to ingenious arpeggios with a more atmospheric function; the keyboard are simply beautiful, ranging from complex runs to more of a background atmosphere creating beautiful canvases of darkness, while the drums are at some times blazing at light speed through your speakers, and at others going slower but with great fills; to date I still believe that Trym is one of the best Black Metal drummers ever, if not the best one. Another thing that makes this album so great is the elegant and classy arrangements they use throughout it, I mean, just hear the amazing synth arrangements throughout The Loss and Curse of Reverence; this adds a whole new dimension to the soundscape Emperor creates.

Many people describe Emperor’s sound in the first albums as majestic, and I couldn’t agree more; I don’t think that any band in the Black Metal world deserves that title more than them. As for the vocals, I think Ihsahn is an excellent vocalist and that his vocals fit the music perfectly; I’ve always loved clean vocals in Black Metal, when applied correctly, and Ihsahn definitely knows when to use them. Lyric wise I think that the stuff Ihsahn writes is great, evading the cheesy, “kill all the christians” stuff and rather concentrating on a more philosophical and spiritual “satanic” view.

Many people hail the “In the Nightside Eclipse” album as Emperor’s best; I think it’s a superb release (even more if you take into consideration it’s their first full-length album) but not their best; I think that “In the Nightside Eclipse” was an important step for Emperor to reach enough maturity and musical skills to create the masterpiece this album is; I definitely believe that Emperor reached their climax here; never again would Emperor or any other Black Metal band I’ve heard to date create an album as astonishing as this one.

Many bands have come and will come, and most of them will go without being remembered; some will be remembered for the wrong reasons (arson, murder), but I hope that the mighty Emperor will be remembered for the amazing art they created, especially for the masterpiece this album is.

Killing Songs :
Every second of it slays!!!
Daniel quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Emperor that we have reviewed:
Emperor - Emperor/Wrath Of The Tyrant reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Emperor - Live Inferno reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Emperor - IX Equilibrium reviewed by Aaron and quoted 89 / 100
Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse reviewed by Valefor and quoted CLASSIC
Emperor - Prometheus - The Discipline Of Fire & Demise reviewed by Danny and quoted 88 / 100
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