When people talk about Emperor, all the highest praise is normally reserved for their seminal In The Nightside Eclipse record. This praise is certainly well deserved, it is an astounding album, but Anthems... is every bit as good and in some aspects, not least production, manages to actually top its illustrious predecessor. This may sound like heresy to some old school Black Metal fans, but I reckon it's true. For starters, the intro track Alsvartr (The Oath) is every bit as overblown as you'd expect from a band like Emperor, before it segues into the blinding speedblast that is Ye Entrancemperium, where drum lord Trym gets to show all us how fast he is (very!). The whole album continues in the same vein, with mainman Ihsahn's ripping riffs and snarled vocals complemented perfectly by his excellent keyboard melodies, as well as the second guitar of Samoth, something not enough Black Metal bands tend to bother with. Brilliant stuff. If you're a Cradle Of Filth fan and reckon that they're the last word in Operatic Black Metal (even Black Metal is pushing it a bit these days, but not to worry) you should check this album out with all haste to see where Dani got a big chunk of his inspiration from. Seasoned Black Metallers will most likely already own it, and if not, they definitely should.