IX Equilibrium (Century Media)
Enslain Magazine Issue #6
Order Issue #6!  This review included. Emperor have always been an amazing black metal band. Even with only three musicians, they are able to compose such complex and intricate songs. From my experiences, this is a downfall to their live experience, which then becomes quite lacking compared to the recorded material, but that's another matter. Here we have their eagerly awaited third LP, "IX Equilibrium," which is undoubtedly a great release. Very clear production, insanely fast drums, and great communication between guitars and keys. But how does it compare to "Anthems...?" Cleaner sound, more sung parts, and new sounds are among the things to listen for, but also there seems to be more of a King Diamond-esque vibe, vocally as well as musically, in some of the songs, especially in the first song, "Curse You All Men." I suppose some will find this to be a good thing, but I see it simply as regression. The songs are pieced together so well, but the majestic atmosphere is killed with an 80's metal scream. I think that may be my only complaint on this release, otherwise it's certainly formidable, and demands to become a part of anyone's collection. -- Lady Enslain