Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 1/1/1999
Emperial Live Ceremony (DVD)
posted on 6/2002 By:
I still remember hearing Emperor for the first time, and to be straight to the point I didn't get it. I remember Diabolic played tracks 1 and 2 from IX Equilibrium and it was total chaos. After giving the band several listens over the past few years I've grown to love the mayhem that is Emperor and I now look at their music as chaotic beauty. There's really no other way to describe it other than "chaotic beauty", and although this band will never make sense upon the first listen (I don't care how metal your are) at some point you will either get it or you won't. I remember trying to get a couple of other buddies into Emperor but the studio albums did very little for them (basically they went right over their heads), however, when we all sat down and watched this DVD it all came together for them. When they were able to actually watch as this band of giants played their brand of music flawlessly they were finally able to see where they were coming from and how talented they are. Recorded live at LA2 in London, UK on April 14, 1999, the show starts with an eerie sounding intro filled with evilistic sampling. Then Ihsahn comes out and screams into the mic "Curse You All Men" and they proceeded to destroy the crowd immediately with that headbanger, the very first song off of the aforementioned IX Equilibrium album. The main camera pretty much stays focused on Emperor's singer/lead guitarist right from the get go, but it isn't long until that same camera zooms out a bit and you're able to witness what this guy does on his axe while displaying his forceful brand of blackened screaming. Last week I bragged about how I appreciate the way Dave Mustaine can sing and play at the same time (and I do), but what Ihsahn does while he sings and plays makes what Dave does look weak. Other cuts on this DVD that are some of my favorite Emperor songs include Thus Spake The Nightspirit, I Am The Black Wizards (not a typo), An Elegy Of Icaros, With Strength I Burn, Sworn and The Loss And Curse Of Reverence. These are some of the best tracks Emperor has to offer and they are played just like on the studio albums with the same superior quality. There are several different cameras involved here including one on Trym (drummer), one from the rear/side of Tyr (bass), and one on the other side of the stage capturing the work of Samoth (guitar) and Charmond Grimloch (keys). Although it takes a while before you're actually able to see Samoth actually hammering out the rhythms on his guitar, the camera operator does make an adjustment and he becomes a part of the show. A couple of complaints I do have about this DVD and the reasons it doesn't get a 6 is the overall sound quality. The different instruments are mixed good and the separation is there, however, the sound level overall just seems to be mixed too low. You'll have to turn your stereo up (or TV if you live in the stone age) a little louder than you normally would. This really isn't that big of a deal, but by having to turn it up it brings out a soft hiss that doesn't need to be there. Another thing is when there are certain clips of Trym playing some fills behind the kit you can tell that certain footage doesn't match up with what is coming out of the speakers. Meaning: you see him playing a fill, but it's obvious he's doing something different. I wouldn't chalk this up to overdubs; I simply think they were just trying to edit different footage in and out of certain areas and made a few mistakes. Not a really big deal, but not all that impressive either. However petty my complaints are, this DVD is still worth owning and is a great addition to any musical DVD collection. Additional features here include a discography page with weblinks, a photo gallery and screensavers. No there's not all the backstage shenanigans we've come to expect from that southern quartet, the kings of metal video footage, but why would we want to see that shit from Emperor anyway? They are about the music, not the lifestyle. Oh, I forgot one more complaint that I have. I never got to see this band live, and unlike cockrockers Kiss or the decrepit Ozzy Osbourne, I don't see Emperor doing any type of reunion tour. They're too honorable over there in Norway. If you saw them live then consider yourself lucky; if you didn't then this is probably your only chance.
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