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Customer Review

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Opinion is divided, 1 Nov. 2007
This review is from: ANTHEMS TO THE WELKIN AT DUSK (Audio CD)
This album was shunned by elitist black metal circles on its release, but the fact remains that it was this record that launched Emperor into the semi mainstream world and was recognised by a larger musical audience. It is true that the quality of the music has taken a blow as a result, which is so often the price for the greater success of underground bands, but it is still necessary to gain some perspective, such were the heights that Emperor reached on earlier works that it was only to be expected that a slight dent in the quality would take place. The production is again spot on, and captures the various instruments and effects perfectly, and there are enough of them. The guitars remain the guiding force, but they are aided by more pronounced and overtly classically styled keyboards and strings. The drums, courtesy of Enslaved drummer Trym, are once again perfect, adding a dense blast of sound underneath, which holds the chaos of the rest of the music together into some kind of structure and order. Ihsahn's vocals are very low in the mix and it is often hard to make them out at all, but one can still tell from this that they have taken on a much harder sound; he has all but abandoned the demented scream of "In the Nightside Eclipse", and gone for a harder roar instead. He also employs a clean vocal, most notably on "With Strength I Burn", adding further to the operatic classical feel to this record, alienating some fans but attracting more at the same time. We are also treated to a highly melodic and surprisingly gentle intro by the name of "Alsbartr (the Oath)", which slowly takes the listener through dark caverns of atmosphere, and is an interesting way to open the album. This effort, whilst remaining enjoyable for the veteran black metal fan, should be recommended for beginners, to whom bad production is not yet endurable, as this album offers a big operatic sound, but remains harsh and true to the black metal form.
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Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,978,055