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Review: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse
In The Nightside Eclipse

Label: Candlelight Records
Year released: 1994
Duration: 48:28
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: April 6, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
In The Nightside Eclipse

Rated 4.63/5 (92.58%) (89 Votes)

People kept telling me that this was a classic album, even better than "Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk", so I was glad to be able to grab it. This was the first proper release from Emperor, after their split CD with Enslaved, and it really paved the path to their later, more symphonic sound.

Well, this doesn't hold a candle to "Anthems", but it is a good album. All the elements of the later Emperor sound are here, just in a less developed form. The basic style is much more a stripped-down BM sound, but with the keys layered on top. The synths do create a deep and frigid atmosphere, but they are not well integrated into the whole sound, so this album does not wield the awesome symphonic force of its successor. The songwriting is also less developed here, and the music is much more generic and sometimes disjointed. Now that is not to make this sound bad, as even at their worst Emperor were better than goth-wankers like Cradle of Filth, and even though they paved the way for bands of that ilk, we can't really hold it against them. How were they to know?

There are some cool songs on this CD, and cuts like "Towards the Pantheon" and "I Am The Black Wizards" are excellent slices of atmospheric black metal. But a lot of this album sounds too much like one long song. Even so, it creates a marvelously evil and menacing feel. The art is excellent, and the lyrics are actually better than on "Anthems", and are worth reading all by themselves. The production is not very good, and a lot of the cool riffery gets lost in the dry, hollow mix.

So "In the Nightside Eclipse" is not a classic by any means, but it is a fun, evil Black Metal CD that holds up pretty well even after 10 years. For Emperor fans this is certainly worth the money. They got better, but this ain't bad at all.

Other related information on the site
Review: Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk (reviewed by Dakuroth)
Review: Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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Review: IX Equilibrium (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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