At only the age of 19 Ihsahn, Samoth, Tchort and Faust recorded one of the best black metal albums in the history of black metal. In the Nightside Eclipse is one of the very first symphonic/melodic black metal albums that contain a lot of old school black metal influences along with atmospheric keyboard tunes. The albums is without any question an album that has been influential and till now many people praise it and speak highly about it. The album was recorded in 1994 and re-released in 1999. The re-released edition contains two bonus tracks that are actually cover songs for Bathory and Mercyful fate. This album’s theme revolves around mythology and mysticism.
The album starts out with an intro that readies the listener to very aggressive yet atmospheric songs.
(Overall rating 4.9/5)
Into the Infinity of Thoughts: This song is perfect to start the album with, from the very first riff to the last one, this song gives the listener an impression about the album. It is icy, cold, grim and dark this song goes for about 8 minutes and it has many variations that keep the listener keen and amazed by it’s spectacular sound! Emperor know how to play Black Metal and they make sure that no band can even come close to them in terms of professionalism and composing. The highlights of this song is the long high pitched scream that Ihsahn performs and the atmospheric bit before the blasting outro of the song. (Personal rating 5/5)
The Burning Shadows of Silence: This song starts out with a very raw and old school intro after that the keyboards get introduced into the song. At about 1:00 Ihsahn joins the amazing orchestra of atmospheric and mesmerizing music with his high pitched shrieking voice accompanied by whispers that makes the listener feel asif he is wondering in a Scandinavian forest. In the middle of the song, the song shifts and becomes somehow technical. The song then goes back to its original sound and then it ends with a sudden keyboard fade out. (Personal rating 5/5).
Cosmic Keys to My Creations and Times: The third song and in my opinion one of the best songs on this album. The song starts with a very fast paced intro. Faust’s drumming skills on this one are magnificent. Then Ihsahn joins the music with amazing high pitched shrieks. There are many riffs on this song and the keyboards fit the song so well! There are no words to describe what one feels while listening to this song. It is very medieval. The atmosphere is very overwhelming that one feels asif he is living in a horror movie. At 4:00 the song suddenly fades away and the keyboard’s tunes dominate the whole music accompanied by a very faint guitar sound. The song suddenly shifts, like the previous track, to become somehow technical. It ends with a fade out scream that excites the listener and readies him for the next track. (Personal rating 5/5).
Beyond the Great Vast Forest: This song has one of the best intros on this album. It starts with a very high pitched scream by Ihsahn and the keyboards are so fucking magnificent that they make you feel as if you are wondering alone in the middle of the night in some strange and medieval place. This song is one of the atmospheric ones on the album, it is very majestic and it is all about Dracula! ( Personal rating 4.7/5)
Towards the Pantheon: One of the black metal classics. The song starts with clean guitar and a very haunting keyboard sound. The song then suddenly changes and it becomes very aggressive. At 1:08 Ihsahn joins Samoth, Tchort and Faust with a very fucking high pitched scream that lasts for about 30 seconds. Then directly after his scream Ihsahn starts singing. The lyrics on this one are pure genius. They make you feel asif you are some mythological creature. The keyboards are also very magnificent although they are not dominating in this track. At 3:16 the song calms down and Ihsahn performs a series of screams and then he bursts out and its asif he is putting all his power to let out a very angry scream. The end of the song is similar to when Ihsahn begins to sing and the ending leaves the listener with a jaw opened till the floor. Defnitely one of the best songs on this album and one of the best songs for Emperor. (Personal rating 5/5).
The Majesty of the Nightsky: This song has an intro similar to Beyond the Great Vast Forest. The music starts with everything. From vocals to drums. It is very fast and very aggressive it makes the listener feel the wrath of their music. Suddenly at 2:23 the song calms down and becomes so fucking atmospheric the keyboards accompanied by Faust’s drumming and a faint wind sound set a new atmosphere. Ihsahn then joins the atmospheric music with low pitched growls and the keyboards just get better. For about 2 minutes the listener will feel asif he is put down into a sleep that he cannot wake from. Then as unexpectedly expected the song becomes aggressive again and very fast. It ends with a blast readying the listener to Emperor’s best song on this album. (Personal Rating 5/5).
I Am the Black Wizards: Just looking at the name gives me chills. If perfection exists then I am the The Black Wizards defines perfection. This song contains a lot of elements that truly makes it special among all the other songs on this album. It’s is a mixture of raw black metal, atmospheric black metal and symphonic black metal. It starts out with a very amazing riff then Ihsahn performs a terrifying scream varying from high, mid and low pitch. Then all the elements kick in: very fast drumming, high pitched vocals and amazing bass and guitar riffs. Then at 1:44 the song shifts to become purely atmospheric and symphonic. The keyboards become so hypnotizing that one feels as if he has no control over his body. Ihsahn’s vocals also help in ensuring that. At 3:50 the song shifts and becomes somehow slow. It ends with a very touching riff that makes the listener want to repeat the song again in order to feel the indescribable (Personal rating 5/5)
Inno a Satana: This is also a black metal classic. This song is unique in the sense that there are clean vocals in it. Although clean vocals and black metal don’t really mix. This song proves the oppsoite. The guitars, the drums and the vocals are really very well synchronized. This song is very hard to play since there are a lot of sudden variations. The song ends with Inno a Satana being repeated with an amazing keyboard sound. (Personal rating 4.5/5)
A Fine Day to Die: Cover songs most of the times are bad. However , with Emperor this is not the case. Quothorn will be really pleased with the way Emperor covered this Bathory song. On this track one can really see how Emperor are not just good at playing black metal. They are also great at playing thrash and first wave black metal. The song starts out with faint music and faint vocals. Then the song becomes so aggressive. Ihsahn later joins the music to sing what the late Quothorn sang on this song. Ihsahn does a really good job in that. At 6:43 Ihsahn performs an amazing solo to show that he can also peform solos. The song ends with Ihsahn screaming DIEEEE!! An amazing cover song. (Personal rating 5/5)
Gypsy: Another cover song, this time a cover song for Mercyful Fate. Although the vocals on this song are somehow silly. The guitar solos seem to compensate that. This track is all about the instruments that are played so fucking well. Mercyful Fate will be pleased with the way this song was covered. (Personal rating 4.5/5).
I hope I was able to show you guys how significant this album is. This is album is a MUST have for every black fan and fans that want to know more about the history of symphonic and melodic black metal.