Sound — 8
The songs cntained on the album are simply astounding. The album opener, Into The Infinity Of Thoughts sets a high standard for the album and the standard is kept high throughout. The overall sound quality of the CD is quite good compared to alot of standard black metal CD's that entail a 'raw' production sound. The guitars are quite quiet due to the high volumes used with the synth, but that doesn't pose many problems as the guitars do not convey as much of the melody as the synth. Overall the sound of this album is awesome.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics for the songs are spread over a variety of black metal artists. The album has taken 2 or 3 tracks from the previous album where Mortiis wrote all the lyrics before leaving the band. The other lyrics are wrote by both Isahn and Samoth. The lyrics are quite generic black metal emphasising anti-christian ideals and having a distinct Lord Of The Rings feel to some tracks. The opening line of the album in the first track is the most generic black metal line ever wrote and I love it! "As the Darkness sweeps over the Northern Mountains of Norway!" Isahns trademark screaming is at its typical style of pure vocal anger and really stands out throughout the album.
Overall Impression — 10
Emperor's second release and the best Emperor album by far, if not the best black metal album by far. Each and every track stands out on this album and the entire feeling just gets better as each track progresses. The album really begins to shine after track 7 with the following 4 tracks being fucking amazing. I am the Black Wizards, Inno A Satana, Fine Day to Die cover from Bathory, the second best black metal band, and finnally Gypsy cover from Mercyful Fate. It's too amazing to be put into words! If I lost this album I would have to buy it again as I just could not live without it, and if it was stolen the theif would never walk again! THE must have album for any black metal fan, much better than Prometheus (dissapointment).