||Emperor has been classified as the elite
Black Metal band by many in the metal community. With their new album
entitled "IX Equilibrium" on Century Media Records, the
band continues to expand Black Metal to new heights. Emperor is coming
off of a 1997 Metal Album of the Year for "Anthems to the Welkin
at Dusk." "IX Equilibrium" promises to be in contention
for 1999's version of the award. Top tracks include; "Curse You
All Men," "The Source of Icon E," "An Elegy of
Icaros" and "Nonus Aequilibrium." Vocalist Ihsahn continues
to expand his vocal repertoire. This time, attempting Rob Halford
influenced vocals, come off sounding more like King Diamond than the
famed Judas Priest singer. However, don't let these vocals scare you
away from this album, as they fit in well with the typical harsh screams
that come with Black Metal. Ihsahn also takes over bass duty with
this record, filling in the spot vacated by Alver who left the band
last year. Emperor is currently in Europe, playing concerts all over
the continent. There is talk of possibly bringing them to North America
to play a series of shows with fellow Black Metalers, Dimmu Borgir.
That would be a tour that no true metal fan would want to miss. Overall,
this album deserves a 94 rating. With "IX Equilibrium,"
Emperor once again shows that they are "...the greatest black
metal band in the world, often imitated, never equaled," as it
says on the cover of their 1997 release.