MetalBite Review by Michael on 5/31/2001
This is definitely my favourite Emperor
album. The aggression, the power, the rawness is amazing. Kids, if you are looking for an album to scare your parents, THIS IS THE ONE!!!! From Track 1 until the end it never eases up. Of course "Nightside"
, being one of the early Emperor
albums from the early-days of Norweigen Black Metal, it doesnít have the slick production from a big studio like its latter relatives, but thatís what makes this album stand out against others! It's not polished, it's not shiny and it sure as hell is not cuddly. It's there to slit your throat, and have you running to Mummy to get your rubber underwear!
After a nice little synth/industrial-type intro, we are hit with "Into The Infinity Of Thoughts"
and the screeching lyrics 'As the darkness creeps over the northern mountains of Norway' ...after this you know this is the real thing. The guitars are a total wall of sound, very distorted and surprising simple compared to Welkin and IX, but no less powerful. Most of the lines are doubled and flow very quickly and smoothly. The song structure is also more standard compared to newer Emperor
albums. You will hear more parts repeated and the time signatures are pretty easy to keep up with. The drummer on this album is the now famous Bard Faust, who is now in jail for stabbing a homosexual man to death. He was very young at the time of this recording, but displays some very technical and solid drumming. Another thing that stands out is the synth work. The haunting ghost like tones make this a very dark and grim album indeed. Against the wall of guitars they are quite obvious and stark, but fit in with the mood and direction of the album effortlessly. Unlike Welkin and IX in particular you will not find much of Isahnís classically trained clean vocals, (only in a small part of "Inno A Satana"
) but instead an album of pure, screeching anger. His rather high pitched voice also stand out against the guitars, but it is this that makes Black Metal stand away from regular Metal. The combination of fast guitar riffs, speed drums and church like synth work mixed with screeching vocals the devil himself would be proud of make this a very intense album indeed. An interesting thing I found is rather than writing lyrics to fit with the music and repeating verse, chorus etc, Ihsahn sings a piece of writing with no lyrical repetitions.
Favourite Track?...it has to be "I Am The Black Wizards"
... what can I say?... Itís a classic!
This is real Black Metal. Not the polished stuff that is coming out these days, this is where it started. It's rough, raw and aggressive. If Black Metal interests you, then this album is a must!!!! And unlike the new Emperor
... for this album they still had the corpse paint!!!! (thatís got to be worth an extra point!!)
out of 10