Emperor
IX Equilibrium


4.0
excellent

Review

by Steven Moore USER (24 Reviews)
April 28th, 2007 | 49 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Emperor goes a different direction with IX Equilibrium, although some fans see this album as a mistake it is still worth a listen to any metal enthusiast.

Throughout the years, Emperor has certainly been a band to leave their mark on the extreme metal scene. With a vast underground success in the release of albums such as In the Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk, Emperor showed what the Norwegian black metal scene was all about. In addition to the typical black metal sound, Emperor intertwined symphonic elements into their songs. However, not until after IX Equilibrium was released, did the true potential in the symphonic elements show its’ shell. IX Equilibrium was the start of something new for Emperor, and without a doubt in my mind was a step in an interesting direction.

Brining out the symphonies was not the only changes Emperor made with this album. Clearly Emperor started to become more serious, after all the band changed up their image a bit, and satanic lyrics became a thing of the past. All of these changed might leave one to ponder whether this album is even relatively close to the classic Emperor releases. The truth is that IX Equilibrium is a big change in the bands sound. Everything from Ihsahns’ vocals to the guitar playing separates itself from old Emperor.

Do not let these changes discourage you from trying this album out. Emperor is still at large here with some spectacular riffs and overall song deliverances that black metal has to offer. Songs like “Curse you all Men” open up with some truly memorable and ass-kicking riffs, and never let up throughout the songs entirety. Ihsahns’ clean vocals get a lot more time to shine in this album as well. For example “Elegy of Icaros” has a good deal of Ihsahns’ soaring, clear-toned singing that fits perfectly with Emperors new sound style.

Soloing is also something that has played a larger role throughout this album. For example “Of Blindness and Subsequent Seers” has a very enjoyable middle-eastern style guitar solo. In general, this album shows the musicianship of all the band members a lot more than previous Emperor releases. Tryms’ drumming is at an all time high exhibiting some superb double bass work and other quick beat techniques dispersed all throughout the songs. Unfortunately like most extreme metal the bass guitar is not brought out enough, often being overshadowed by all the other instruments. Song repetition is not too common, despite some tracks following a similar structure. For the most part though, all the songs stand out as individuals.

As stated earlier, Ihsahns’ vocals are, to some extent, different on this album. Instead of the high pitched goblin esq. screech used on earlier albums, his voice is much more of a controlled rasp and is much more comprehendible. Another contributor to the more clear sound is the improved production quality. Although it is not over-polished, the more refined production makes it easier to digest the music. Synthesizer work becomes much more apparent in this album and is done quite well by Ihsahn. All of the songs are given a great symphonic feel by the high use of keyboards. This is especially noticeable on “Warriors of Modern Death”, with the excellent background the keys contribute.

Progressing, when done right, is certainly a superior aspect in music, and Emperor certainly accomplished that. IX Equilibrium is a without a doubt a fantastic and wild piece of extreme metal. With its’ out of this world symphonic features, and intense speed this album proves Emperor are capable of doing so much. Although fans of classic Emperor may not be happy that the band went through several changes, this album should not be passed by. IX Equilibrium should appeal to many, and although different, is another gem in the very impressive Emperor discography.

What was good about this album
+Strong progression from the band
+Instrumental talent shows quite well
+Superb harsh/clean vocals
+The symphonic elements really add a lot to the quality of the music

What was bad about this album
-As usual, the bass wasn’t brought out enough
-Fans may not like this side of Emperor
-The album is only 44 minutes long, although that is not extremely short, I craved more

Final Rating 4/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Angmar
April 28th 2007


2689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tis' been to long since I've reviewed, hope this turned out good

Slaapkamers
April 28th 2007


596 Comments


Symphonies?

The Door Mouse
April 28th 2007


2092 Comments


I don't want to make you feel like Acey but you should be past using words like great in your reviews. It also wouldn't hurt to bulk up you paragraphs. Not really a great review.

Angmar
April 28th 2007


2689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Zepdude :-/ i use the word great like 3 times max, and what point are you trying to make Elim?

Slaapkamers
April 28th 2007


596 Comments


Ihsahn is great; I love his concertos!

plane
Staff Reviewer
April 28th 2007


6094 Comments


i use the word great like 3 times max

Seven to be exact. But this is a good review otherwise, few grammatical/spelling errors aside (comprehensible) and that it comes off a little fanboy-ish. It's controlled, though, so whatev.

iarescientists
April 28th 2007


5863 Comments


And don't forget under the album rating where it says great!

plane
Staff Reviewer
April 28th 2007


6094 Comments


That was part of the count.

Oh, and check the summary. Not only does it include great, but it also says its' and ownage. The former is a grammar mistake, the latter is kind of unprofessional and makes you sound like a fanboy. That's where most of it lies.This Message Edited On 04.28.07

iarescientists
April 28th 2007


5863 Comments


Great job then :thumb: I just wanted to make sure we had all our great tracks covered greatly.

Thor
April 28th 2007


10192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Decent review, though it needs a bit of revising.

This is actually my least favorite Emperor albums. While "Curse You All Men!" is my favorite Emperor song of all time, the majority of the album can't compare to their other three releases. Anthems was practically flawless, Nightside had a tremendous atmosphere to it and Prometheus was just plain weird. This one didn't have as much personality as their other three full length releases.

Angmar
April 28th 2007


2689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ok thanks, ill edit the summary and some of those greats i missed :p

Slaapkamers
April 28th 2007


596 Comments


OWNAGE

Angmar
April 28th 2007


2689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Any better? Elim i swear i have seen the guy in your avatar somewhere before.

Doppelganger
April 28th 2007


3124 Comments


OWNAGE


mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
April 28th 2007


17920 Comments


you know this is actually a pretty snazzy review. some of your points are a bit eh and grammar is kinda off in places but hey its all good.

and zepdude...just be quiet please.

Angmar
April 29th 2007


2689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, i tried reading this out-loud several times but I guess i should just put grammar in the trust of others :-/

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2007


17920 Comments


well the grammar problems arent really ones you'd notice by reading out loud. it's more issues with apostrophes and such.

iarescientists
April 29th 2007


5863 Comments


yes, you should trust others, or it will all result in a metaphorical plane wreq.

Angmar
April 29th 2007


2689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ahh, OK I guess that something i could get help with easier then.

Confessed2005
April 29th 2007


3314 Comments


I should really check this out sometime, despite it appearing to be inferior to other works by the band.



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