Emperor – In the Nightside Eclipse Reissue (Candlelight)Monday, 23rd June 2014
When it comes to original, extreme, Satanic and evil as a demon-possessed cathedral black metal, Emperor will always reign as kings. They’ve reawakened their first full-length album, In the Nightside Eclipse, but it’s much more than just another reissued album, it’s a special twentieth anniversary edition featuring a total of twenty-four songs on two discs with a few surprises that’ll tickle your darkest fancy. Out of all of this year’s reissues, it might be the only one worth the while.
The first disc includes the re-mastered In the Nightside Eclipse and the 1994 EP, As the Shadows Rise. The second disc is all previously unreleased tracks kept in storage since 1993, beginning with a neat vintage mix of In the Nightside Eclipse, and ending with the most sacred part of the release, called The Akkerhaugen Tapes, three fantastic rehearsals from 1993. There’s never been room for favoritism between these songs, but there are several to take particular notice of here. “The Majesty of the Nightsky” was already great enough and now it comes in a variety: the 2014 re-master, the 1993 mix and a 1993 pre-release rehearsal, each as gnarly as the next but the raw brutal furiousness of the rehearsal tape is priceless. Only Ihsahn can snarl those elaborate lyrics with such unremitting nefariousness in his voice, whether it’s a wicked cackle or a shrilling scream, he maintains that bitter and abrasive sound in every word he enunciates.
In the Nightside of Eclipse thoroughly exhibits their irreplaceable mystique. Hundreds of bands try imitating what Emperor did, despite of whether they’re better or worse, let’s not forget what and who instigated this movement. We’re returning to the good old days when churches were burned and the black metal dominion was spreading like a plague. Emperor can be blamed, better yet thanked for that. If you don’t want to hear new-Emperor, pick up a new copy of old-Emperor. Everyone, especially old-Emperor preachers and new-Emperor haters, has got to get in on this. Remember none of this was available the same way 20 years ago, they saved this for a reign-y day.