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Enslaved / Emperor - Emperor / Hordanes Land [Split] review

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Band: Enslaved / Emperor
Album: Emperor / Hordanes Land [Split]
Release date: October 1993

01. I Am The Black Wizards
02. Wrath Of The Tyrant
03. Night Of The Graveless Souls
04. Cosmic Keys To My Creations And Times

05. Slaget I Skogen Bortenfor / Prologr / Slaget
06. Allfadr Odinn
07. Balför / Andi Fara / Epilog

What can one say about Them. Definitely They are one of the best black metal bands ever. They started as a cult name in the black metal (after their death metal past) scene and so they remained as the years started to pass by and the one great album was coming after the other. They had no weak moments and the treasure they left behind is immense. This band had something unique, something special that no-one ever had the chance to understand. Sharp guitar riffs with this unique Norwegian feeling, majestic atmosphere, Ihsahn's exceptional eerie voice, really fast but also high quality drumming formed what we call Emperor's unique feeling, a feeling that no-one ever had the chance to catch (not for a single second), though many tried… And though Emperor had changes in their line-up (Faust going in prison, Samoth too for a period of time etc), they never lost this unique feeling.

"Emperor" is their first official mini-CD (split cd with Enslaved) being released after the amazing "Wrath of the Tyrant" demo. In this mini-album Mortiis writes the lyrics (as all of the Emperor lyrics during the 1991-1992 period), exceptional and poetic, but also dark and evil, lyrics that will follow Emperor forever. The music is written by Ihsahn and Samoth. Samoth moves to the guitars after Mortiis left the band and the drums' seat will be given to Faust and Ihsahn continues playing the guitars and being the vocalist of the band. "Emperor" was something special for the time it was released. No-one had ever heard until then something so elegiac but also evil and extreme in the black metal scene. 4 tracks were enough to show that Emperor would be the real emperors of black metal in the forthcoming future.

It was a pure age, when the feelings were true and black metal (mainly in Norway then) was a way of living. The forests of Norway had become their sanctums and they had become the children of the night. Young people impressed by the majesty of the black arts, the beauty of the night, the coldness of their climate and the darkness because of the shortness of the day and having new activities (fire-breathing, corpse-paint, wristbands, spiked clubs, burning of churches, murders etc) thought that they could do something special for themselves, something extremely different but beautiful in their eyes. And then…

…"I am the Black Wizards" begins the album. One of their most renowned songs! A nightmarish guitar riff gives birth to this song and Ihsahn howls as a creature not of this world. The one great riff comes after the other and in combination with the spooky and entrancing keyboard ideas perform a really dark and evil atmosphere. Ihsahn's voice is eerie and howling and paints Emperor's compositions with black colors. What about the lyrics? Mortiis' lyrics are really esoteric and dark, they flow straight from his black heart. Simly Mortiis is a black poet, expressing black feelings and nothing more. "Wrath of the Tyrant" continues the album and the guitar riffs being accompanied by the keyboard's lurking dreary sound and Ihsahn's voice begin another nightmare. Ihsahn sings with such passion while the fiery guitars continue burning the shrouds of light creating a really black atmosphere. Mortiis' inspiration is never-ending and his lyrics express his evil, black and universal anguishes and persistences …

"Night of the Graveless Souls"follows. Ihsahn howls and everyone else is silenced. Everyone bows in front of his majesty. Great riffing in the Norwegian way and keyboards that escalate the song creating a dreary and fearful atmosphere are accompanying Ihsahn's unholy and eerie howls. The fast drumming is never-ending and Faust gives his best. A great song! "Cosmic Keys to My Creations and Times" is the final composition on this mini-cd ending the alum in an appropriate way! Flaming "railway" guitar riffs and Ihsahn's howls begin the song and a black metal storm begins! Sharp Norwegian guitar riffs, really fast drumming, spooky keyboards in the background and Ihsahn's howling voice perform a majestic atmosphere and another great song. The song isn't based on keyboards, but when they enter the song they add a different special feeling, making the song even more dark and exceptional. Mortiis reveals us through his lyrics his astral perseverances of a time lost long ago when only the stars could see…

Four compositions are enough to make the sun drown into darkness and let everlasting night reign…


Written on 23.08.2004 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."

Guest review by
Along with Burzum, Mayhem and Darkthrone, there are two another bands that were very important in the history of the black metal. Their names are Emperor and Enslaved. They have been formed later than those another "true" bands so it was pretty hard for them to be successful so instead of being alone they have decided to start together with this awesome split.

published 14.06.2008 | Comments (2)


Comments: 1   Visited by: 33 users
28.03.2008 - 15:12
Liver Failure
Heh. nice review. This little EP really shows what Emperor was up to in the future. One of my fav bands.

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/

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