Sound — 8
This album and band are widely acclaimed for being the greatest Black Metal band to date. Not to mention that this was there first Album either, but it is when you hear it a cut above most. I actually got mine from a friend who goes to Norway every other year for family and I gave him 100$ bucks to bring me back as many CD's as possible and this was the first that I listened to. It left an endearing impression on me; and for good reason, though not spotless quality like modern black metal for the most part it's powerful. The guitars which at this point were usually not that amazing (as supposed to the keyboard) shine through out the CD, the drums are basic which is one of in my opinions the low points. Also the bass is almost completely unheard which is another downer but that's the way of early black metal.
Lyrics — 10
Ihsahn was the vocalist on this record and he is probably best known for his strong voice, and this album help make him the Legend he is by this point. The lyrics were revolutionary for the time of the record but sadly are most of the time overlooked nowadays because they set the standard for everything the so most Black metal lyrics you hear anywhere else are probably inspired in some way from the CD or band. Sorry but I can't find anything wrong with this records Voice.
Overall Impression — 9
To be fair this is like the father of a lot of black metal so once heard it in comparison they were ahead of their time. I think "Beyond the Great Vast Forest" and "I am the Black Wizards" redefined Extreme Metal as a genre and are the best songs in my opinion the best songs on this CD if not all of Black Metal, but I do really like them all. It has no comparison to other black metal after that but like the way Black Sabbath or Led Zepp changed rock forever, Emperor changed Black Metal and helped set the foundation for the spray painted black house that was built there soon after. If there was anything not to like it would be that the bass was mixed out of the final presentation and the drums although good could have been better. So to conclude, Emperor chose their name aptly for they are the Emperor of black metal.