The problem for me with black metal is that it generally always sounds the same. The black metal bands I’ve heard just do black metal (or melodic black metal, or whatever) and that’s that. They are content to release 50-60 minute onslaughts of one sound and leave it that.
Not so Emperor. This album is bonkers and super proggy to boot. In fact, I have a hard time even associating it with the Black Metal I’ve heard to date only because there is so much more going on here than on those other albums I’ve heard. Apparently putting the word “symphonic” in front of black metal means you can be creative outside the self-imposed limits of your genre.
This is super over-the-top and the kind of thing I sort of have to be in the mood to love (though, had I discovered this in my youth, I might have been in love). But it’s incredibly creative and doesn’t really have respect for stupid genre conventions.
Works for me.