Emperor is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1991, regarded as highly influential by critics and emerging black metal bands. The group split up in 2001, but reunited from 2005 to 2007 for a few festival dates and brief US tours, and again reunited in 2013 to 2014. The group was founded by Ihsahn (guitar/vocals) and Samoth (then, drums).
Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise is the fourth and final studio album by Norwegian black metal band Emperor. It was released on 21 October 2001, through Candlelight Records. Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise differs from Emperor’s previous recordings with a focus on a more progressive style.
The album was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy Award for Best Metal album in 2001.
The Eruption—-If you are a fan of Emperor, have followed their career or even listened on a casual basis, the first thing you notice is how far the sound quality of this band has come. Gone are the muddled guitars…the mass wall of noise and the vocals that were almost unheard. Still intact though is the intensity and the aggressive lauds to all things mysterious and scary. The vocals are crisp and clear…the guitar squeals are fantastic….the drums as always are huge. The symphonic element is incredible…the vocal incantation sometimes reminding me of King Diamond when he sings in his ‘regular; voice. This is pretty fantastic.
Depraved—-Melding from the previous track, the darkness that the music has is just incredible. The atmosphere puts you in a dark fog filled forest with dripping rain all around you as you struggle to escape sheer madness. The drums on this track are smack in your face….while the crisp lead guitars give the song a direction to travel in. When the rhythm section truly kicks in, the track takes on a remarkable melody. The vocal is as we would expect…powerful and dripping with danger. The music is the incredible thing for me….so much going on….yet a distinguishing melody underneath it all.
Empty—-There is no break between tracks on this release…the entire thing playing like a well read book. This track is just pure mayhem….there is so much going on….your ears are assaulted from all sides right from the onset. The slight lull in the music allows you to catch your breath and for the vocal to move to the front of the mix. This is extreme in it’s finest form. There is nothing to frown about with this release.
The Prophet—-With a split second of silence, this track kicks in with a bit more of an orchestrated large sound. The drumming is just incredible…the double kick bass delivered at a maddening speed. The vocal sounds double tracked….layered with different tones that make it sound even more evil then previous tracks. The guitars are crisp…the squeals incredible…but the bass line underneath of it all lending to the melody of the song. This is huge in sound….and almost catchy….I love this.
The Tongue Of Fire—-Never allowing you a moment of respite, this comes right at you with an overpowering wall of noise and sound. Everything comes at you in multiple directions….literally making your head swim with the intensity. The guitars are crisp and clean….maddening at times with the same notes repeating and repeating. Perhaps…for me, one of the most aggressive tracks on this release…..this is pure noise with a lot of pleasure thrown in. The vocal is eerie…delivered with a scary sing song melody that reminds you this is evil….lol
In The Wordless Chamber—-Coming out of a musical fog to smack you right upside the head, the vocal is almost immediate and sounds more possessed than ever. The drums are huge…almost drowning out everything. The usual crisp guitars are almost absent…..taking you back to the muddled and maniacal days of early Emperor. The death screams that are emitted are shockingly surprising. The slight orchestra moments adding to the huge feel of the song. Then comes the marching rhythm to the song….giving it form and substance. This is though out Metal……I love this song!!!
Grey—-Drums and soaring squealing guitars begin this track….taking you on another dark and heavy journey. The vocal enters….sounding pissed off and driven by unseen forces. This is extreme….I love how the crisp guitar is showcased…giving the track a nice clarity and substance. The deep bass sounds are here, but the lead guitars make the track a bit more accessible to the listener. This is fantastic! This really reminds me of King Diamond!!!!
He Who Sought the Fire—-No rest for the wicked….let’s go!!!! The guitars continue on the tirade of the previous track. The drums…..MY GOD……how is it possible to play like this. They take up the entire song….huge…..fast and powerful. The vocal is as you would expect….the surprise for me are the intermittent guitar stops and breaks…then they soar…then they disappear….this is talent…not just studio pummeling. Extreme!!!
Thorns On My Grave—-Rounding out the release with yet another epic track, there is still little time to catch your breath as we meld right into the final brutal drum driven track that reminds you what hell must sound like. Indeed…perhaps it is not such a bad place after all eh? The soaring guitars never drown out the double kick drum that leads you on a frenetic journey to hell. The vocal enters….and I’m shocked by some of the higher notes that are emitted. This is just incredible…leaving me thirsty and almost bleeding for more. If this is indeed the end for this band…you could never ask for a better swan song.
**** out of 5