Ah yes, the godfathers of symphonic black metal, Emperor, are a band very well known in the darker regions of underground metal. Most famous for their genre defining debut album (and black metal masterpiece) In The Nightside Eclipse
, the band even to this day remain a behemoth in the heavy metal music. Even before the band reunited to play those three amazing shows a few months back, Emperor had left us a special present to remember them by. That present is Scattered Ashes: A Decade Of Emperial Wrath
, a compilation package that contains 2 discs of pure Satanic madness. Disc 1 (the black disc) contains the band's greatest hits, including Curse You All Men!
, Wrath Of The Tyrant
, I Am The Black Wizards
, and a live recording of Thus Spake The Nightspirit
. Disc 2 (the silver disc) contained a bunch of Emperor rarities, b-sides, and cover songs such as their Darkthrone, Mayhem, Mercyful Fate (and more) cover songs, an Ulver remix of Sworn
, the rare demos of Wrath Of A Tyrant
, and songs from the ultra rare EP As The Shadows Rise
Highlights Of The Black Disc
This disc contains the greatest hits from all of Emperor's official album releases. Curse You All Men!
from their album IX Equilibrium
kicks off the disc. The song's sheer aggressive power, fury, and atmosphere is enough for anyone new to Emperor to drop their mouth in awe. The track also shows all of Emperor's strong points that make them the black metal kings that they are, which are the unforgiving, brutal guitar riffs, keyboard and symphonic backdrop melody, brilliant black metal screeching, haunting clean vocals, and punishing blast beats. Another noticeable track is The Majesty Of The Nightsky
from Emperor's classic In The Nightside Eclipse
. The song's only weak point is it's noticeable poor drum production quality, but that aside, the song has some powerful guitar work and blistering black metal vocals and beautiful symphonic melody that show why In The Nightside Eclipse
is considered a classic. Amazing guitar solos and haunting symphonic atmosphere drives the epic The Loss And Curse Of Reverence
which is from the album Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk
. The song has a very epic feel and some of the best arranges orchestration from any Emperor song.
It would be blasphemy to the unholy lords of black metal not to add the amazing I Am The Black Wizards
from In The Nightside Eclipse
on this list. The song is easily Emperor's unholy anthem. The song flow and instrumentation arrangements are amazing, being both fast and hard yet slow, dark and haunting. Probably the greatest Emperor song ever made. The live track of Thus Spake The Nightspirit
from the band's live album Emperial Live Ceremony
shows that the band is even more amazing live. The music's atmosphere on this live track is perfect, and the musicianship flawless. The orchestration is also a lot easier to hear on this song then it is on any of the normal recordings of Emperor songs. In The Wordless Chamber
from Emperor's final album, Prometheus - The Discipline Of Fire
is the last of the truly epic and powerful Emperor songs on the album. The vocal arrangements on the song is brilliant, with Ihsahn doing a lot of his beautiful operatic singing. The song also has one of the best atmospheric breakdowns off of any of the Emperor tracks on the album.
My Final Rating On The Black Disc: (4.7/5)
Highlights Of The Silver Disc
The first track, A Fine Day To Die
off of the In Conspiracy With Satan Tribute
album, begins with soft atmospheric guitar work and haunting singing from Ihsahn. The song the ascends into some amazing melodic black metal riffs and blast beat grooves, making the song a perfect tribute to symphonic black metal and one of the most epic songs previously unreleased by Emperor. The Mercyful Fate cover song, Gypsy
is done perfectly as Ihsahn imitates the infamous King Diamond's haunting fawcetta singing. Although the song is one of the shortest tracks Emperor has ever done, they still managed to pull off an epic feeling track with great guitar work. Thus the band (aside from the vocals) basically made the Mercyful Fate song one of their own. I Am
is probably the most industrial sounding track that could still be considered black metal. The haunting intro alone would capture any listener for it's creepy beats and ambiance. What makes the song so great is how different and original it sounds, sounding more or less like a remix sound off of Isis's Oceanic: Remixes And Reinterpretations
. Another interesting thing about the track is the fact it sounds like Emperor took on a Mike Patton influence for the song.
The Ulver remix of Sworn
is also a twisted song of pure chaos, only much faster. The production is something to be said for, but the intense fury of turntables mixed in with the fury of the blast beats and scratchy guitar work makes the perfect sound of what I call pure and utter mayhem. The last really noticeable track is The Longing Spirit
from the rare mini album Reverence
. The track is another perfect example of symphonic orchestration and black metal atmospheres that influence bands like Dimmu Borgir and Old Man's Child. The song has some amazing vocal work and guitar work as well. Overall making the silver disc of Scattered Ashes: A Decade Of Emperial Wrath
an experience all it's own.
My Final Rating On The Silver Disc: (4.5/5)
-- A great compilation package and a perfect treat to any black metal fans.
-- For the most part great production quality.
-- Great musicianship and music atmospheres.
-- Contains probably all the Emperor a fan could really need.
-- A great deal of variety.
-- Probably the easiest Emperor album you can find.
-- The silver disc brings on some different tunes di hard fans would not like.
-- A couple of songs have horrible production.
1. Curse You All Men! (5/5)
2. The Tongue Of Fire (4.5/5)
3. The Majesty Of The Nightsky (5/5)
4. Cosmic Keys To My Creations & Times (4.5/5)
5. Wrath Of The Tyrant (4.5/5)
6. The Loss And Curse Of Reverence (5/5)
7. An Elegy Of Icarus (5/5)
8. I Am The Black Wizards (5/5)
9. Thus Spake The Nightspirit [Live] (5/5)
10. Ye Entrancemperium (4/5)
11. In The Wordless Chamber (5/5)
12. With Strength I Burn (4.5/5)
13. Inno A Satana (4/5)
1. A Fine Day To Die (5/5)
2. Aerie Descent (4.5/5)
3. Cromlech (4/5)
4. Gypsy (5/5)
5. Funeral Fog (4/5)
6. I Am (5/5)
7. Sworn (Ulver Remix) (5/5)
8. Lord Of The Storms (2.5/5)
9. My Empire's Doom (3.5/5)
10. Moon Over Kara-Shehr (4.5/5)
11. The Ancient Queen (4.5/5)
12. Witches Sabbath (4.5/5)
13. In Longing Spirit (5/5)
14. Opus A Satana (5/5)