Emperor formed in 1991, in Norway by Ihsahn and Samoth.
'Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk' is Emperor's second full length release, released on Century Black. This album and 'In the Nightside Eclipse' are two of the most defined symphonic black metal releases to date. The lineup for this album is as follows...
Ihsahn - Lead guitars, Vocals, synths
Samoth - Guitars
Trym Torson- Drums
Jonas Alver - Bass
The album starts off on a mellow note with Alsvartr (The Oath). This song starts the album with mellow clean guitars, dipping and diving through major and minor arpeggios. This is soon combined with epic keyboards and slow doomy guitars. A nice way to start the album, leading right into Ye Entrancemperium (The opening to this song was actually written by Euronymous of Mayhem.) This song is pure black metal, but Emperor puts a nice touch on it shifting between singing and screaming,a very nice touch. This song is a preview of what is to come on the rest of the album. Symphonic synths along with technical guitar leads, and awesome vocals.
Thus Spake the Nightspirit is in my opinion the real beginning of the album, it really picks up here. black metal here but still with the symphonic edge going on. The guitar lead in this song is very technical (though it's a bit difficult to hear it.) The song slows down a bit showing another range of Emperor, sung vocals along with a more doomy riff.
Ensorcelled by Rhaos is quite fast, blasting guitars, great drumming and awesome vocals here still keeping the symphonics going. This song really shows what Emperor has, including pianos and sung vocals, intertwined with both fast and slow guitar riffs. This flows right into probably the best song on the album, The Loss and Curse of Reverence, a very technical, fast song here, Shifting in and out of extreme symphonic mode, they do it very well here. The song also includes slow, well written harmony riffs made all the better with the keys in the background, which is then made all the more better by the extreme speed that comes out of it.
The next track, The Acclaimation of Bonds starts of with a nice guitar lead along with the synths before blasting into speed/symphonic mode. This song shifts between extreme symphonic mode and epic guitar leads very well, the symphonics here are made so much better with the vocals.
With Strengh i Burn is one of my favorite tracks, the usage of symphonics here is eerie, i love how they do it. The guitars in this song are more simple compared to the rest of the album, but they are still nothing to be overlooked. The symphonics and the vocals (both sung and screamed) are the stars of this song. There is even a spoken passage in the middle of the song with only synths behind it. A nice touch.
The last track, The Wanderer is instrumental, it's about three minutes of the same riff over and over again. Fading in at the beginning and fading out at the end. I enjoy this song, it's slow but the rhythm/lead guitars are both well played here.
Overall i give this album 4.5/5. All instruments are played top notch, especially Tryms drumming, (who other than Hellhammer, is probably the best black metal drummer out there.) there is basically double bass throughout this whole album. The music is excellent. Great album, highly recomended.