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on 15 May 2008
1994 saw the advent of this most talented band - A definite standout from the Norwegian scene along with Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon & Burzum.
Along with the furious guitar & lightning fast drumming there are some fantastic flourishes of keyboard to add the symphonics to the assault.
It's totally unique in sound - and this is the reason I've written this review. A fair few reviews (not just on amazon) often criticise the production - it's really not that bad at all! Every instrument (apart from perhaps the bass) & the vocals are clear, the snare & bass drum are fine & all the synths & sound fx are cleverly worked. Considering the modest budget & resources, an epic style sound was achieved. This is how Armageddon is going to sound!
One major thing is atmosphere; the album has it in spades!
It sounds other worldly & ancient at times, with an icy cold heart.
Ihsahn's vocals are his highest pitched and take a couple of spins to get used to but they are perfect for music this dark & heavy!
The album has a really cool artwork for a cover - very Tolkienesque.
I love all of the albums but my favourites are this & 1996 follow up Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk.
Standout tracks: Into the Infinity of Thoughts, Cosmic Keys to My Creations and Times, The Majesty of the Night Sky & Inno a Satana.

Maybe not the best Black Metal album but perhaps the definitive.
I'd also seriously recommend Ihsahn's solo albums as they are some of the best symphonic/progressive releases (*not really black metal anymore*).
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on 10 September 2006
Emperor have been said to be the most influential black metal band in history, and from this album,it is plain to see why. The atmosphere created within this album would not be out of place in a collection of all darkness and mystery, brought together in masterpieces of Metal. Tracks such as 'I am the black wizards' or 'a fine day to die' enable you to let yourself loose in epics of darkness, before sadly returning to reality. The riffs will keep you awake, the intelligent lyrics will make you desire to become one with all the might of Emperor. Which, without a doubt, is a fine place to be.
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on 20 April 2011
There's no such thing as overkill with Emperor. From the very beginning they fit everything they possibly could into every note of their music, so much so that you can can almost hear it groaning under its own weight of hardware and style. Listening to their first major release is akin to listening to classical music. The songs are not songs but compositions that set pace and mood and evolve into a symphony. It's like classical music played in Hell. And as such it is inherently difficult to form a critical opinion on. It will only be a classic in the eyes of fans of the band and its shoe-horned genre of black metal. But for arguments sake, yes it is a classic.

The uninitiated will find it very difficult to bare however. On first listen it is unfathomable; even more so than their final release, Prometheus, which was their most accessible album but in itself was hard to unwrap. To fans and constant listeners of the genre it may have been easier to access but it took me about 7 or 8 goes to get a hold of any melody or rhythm (granted these are musical conceits that are rare within the genre). Given time it does grow and I beg any newcomers to stick with it because every single one of their albums are pure aural indulgence.

I won't earmark any specific tracks as it is important to embrace the record in its entirety as you would a symphony. But what the hey: The first 5 tracks are excellent explosions of rage, finesse and unparalleled technical genius; 'I Am The Black Wizards' is good but I am unsure as to why it is heralded as THE masterpiece here while 'The Burning Shadows of Silence' and 'Beyond The Great Vast Forest' engulf it.

Try it, you might just be surprised.
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on 13 February 2007
If you ask anyone who has ever been even slightly into black metal which albums they own or would recommend, this has to be one of the first anyone would mention. It is not possible to call yourself a fan of black or extreme metal of any kind without owning it. Emperor are, as most people know, one of the "main" Norwegian black metal bands of the 90s, when black metal had its brief but extremely dramatic heyday. Even now, "In the Nightside Eclipse" remains an extremely well respected album, despite the fact most of Emperor's contemporaries have vanished with the hype that first accompanied them.

Nightside is not only Emperor's best album, but arguably the best extreme metal album ever made. It lacks the "recorded in a shed" acoustics of a Darkthrone album, but the production is far from polished and gives a sense of intensity and darkness to the entire album. On the other hand, the music isn't amazing. Isahn's vocals are no better than any other similar vocalist's, the lyrics are badly written, the bass is often far too buried in the mix (although this is typical of BM) and the drumming can sound pretty tinny due to the "black metal" production ethos. However, to criticise these aspects would be to miss the point. What makes Nightside special is the atmosphere. The combination of fast, crunchingly heavy, super-distorted guitars and ominous keyboards creates an atmosphere of genuine evil and darkness. Unlike more "mainstream" bands such as Dimmu Borgir, the keyboards are mainly used for eerie effect, rather than being a key focus of the music.

Nightside also features one of the most iconic extreme metal songs ever written: "I am the black wizards". I wouldn't personally cite this as THE best song on the album, but it is certainly a must hear. Closing song "Inno a Satana" is my favourite, due to the effective backing vocals and atmosphere. This edition of the album also features 2 covers. The monumental "A Fine Day to Die" by Bathory, and the somewhat strange Mercyful Fate track "Gypsy", featuring an amazing guitar solo and an attempt at King Diamond falsetto vocals. If you are new to black metal, this is the place to start.
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on 27 April 2012
pay careful attention to this. I emplore you. this is very important. buy this album immediately or Satan will end your miserable existence!
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on 11 February 2014
How Emporer Eclipsed the Black Metal Scene! - this album is truly astounding, with so much flair and technical ability it is no wonder that this album is often sighted as the pinnacle of the genre.

This album is one that ever since I discovered it, I have always been mesmerised and everytime I return to it I find new depths in its sonic onslaught.

I recommend to all newcomers.
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on 21 December 2005
A fantastic slice of what Emperor are all about. Brutal, epic and euphoric, Nightside Eclipse deserves to be in everyone's record collection. Granted that it may be a little heavy or in-accessible to more melodic Metal fans but after the first few listens you'll be aqquainted with a world of slashy vocals, haunting euphoria and hellish riffs. Certainly a must have for any Emperor fan, and even for those who are just dabbling with the genre, get a piece of Nightside Eclipse.
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on 21 September 2007
When i first heard about this album i was eager to get it with all the hype surrounding this record,so buy it i did...and when i listened to it i didn't see what the big deal was... sure i liked a few tracks hear and there but never really got i left it for a while...

Come winter and more cold it became,i went back to the album a few more times and after more listens something begun to happen...Its like i was starting to hear it..i mean really hear the music and not just listening to it... i begun to appreciate what i had in my high power HIFI which is now obsolete
(-I- Rust In Peices -I-),i couldn t explain it... its like every time i listened to this the more i liked it,you just cannot dispute the atmosphere and addictiveness in Beyond The Great Vast Forest & I Am The Black Wizards.. BLOODY AWSOME!!,even to this day every time i put it on i like the album more then before.

And so... here i am writing this review a wiser more respectful black metal head and i now understand what makes this album so great,
just get it and understand that WHERE NOT WORTHY!! -I- -I-

Other really AWSOME!! black metal bands i like and all fellow black metal heads should check out are:

Sear Bliss,DEFINATELY Try this shamefully underrated band out..every album that these grim hungarians released are classics they truly define their name..Awsome Awsome Band, start with there career defining Glory And Perdition

Lunar Aurora,anything from these Awsome!!! german black metalers you have to get..they make very very atmospheric FREEZING COLD Symphonic Melodic Black Metal just like Sear Bliss And Emperor do SO WELL..

...And Oceans,get ( dynamic gallery of thoughts )

Naglfar, naglfar are like a more sophisticated Dissection..Definately get Vittra and Diabolical

Sacramentum,Im sure all you black metal heads have heard of this AMAZING band, this band prove that keyboards & synthesizers are not always needed to accomplish EMENSE freezing cold Atmosphere,Definately Get ( FAR AWAY FROM THE SUN ),

Abigor, you have to get ( Nachthymnen (From the Twilight Kingdom) ) This band must be heard to be believed...they create such unbelievable black metal power,darkness and freezing cold atmosphere yet at the same time are strangely Euphoric in a evil way & very addictive...just what a truly great black metal band can and will pull off...

Well...i hope this review has helped a little in your quest for eternal darkness....see you all in eternal perdition...see you all in -I-** LIMBO **-I- \m/ (##) \m/ (00) \m/
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on 1 June 2014
This album is a must own for a Black Metal fan. Innovative, outstanding, it set the standard for bands of it's time.
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on 23 February 2014
This is an amazing album and is essential for anyone who is a fan of this particular genre of music!
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