EMPEROR – Scattered Ashes: A Decade of Emperial Wrath

Scattered Ashes is a two-disc anthology featuring twenty-seven songs. The first disc (the black disc) contains thirteen songs which cover the band’s entire career from the driving opener, “Curse Ye All Men!” to the progressive “The Tongue of Fire,” to the symphonic “An Elegy of Icaros,” to the raw, primitive origins of “Wrath of the Tyrant,” to the over the top relentless speed of “Ye Entranceperium.” No stage of the band’s career was left out. Although every fan has their own personal favorites (and many will wonder or complain that their songs were not chosen), it’s important to note that these songs were selected by the band. And from their perspective, these are the songs that best represent EMPEROR. Regardless, disc one serves as a fine retrospective to their career, as well as being an excellent introduction to the uninitiated (who are no doubt kicking themselves for having missed the band the first time around). Disc two (the silver disc) compiles an assortment of covers, b-sides, and re-mixes, which most avid EMPEROR fans already have but can now be experienced with the convenience of having everything on one CD. Included are the band’s fine renditions of classics from MAYHEM and DARKTHRONE (both of whom should be covering EMPEROR instead) as well as dead-on covers of two of black metal’s forefathers, BATHORY and MERCYFUL FATE. “Aerie Descent” and “I Am” were exclusive to their split album with THORNS and the Moonfog 2000 compilation but are also included. The material is as diverse as any of the band’s albums, ranging from the necro stylings of “Moon Over Kara-Shehr,” to Garm‘s hardcore electronica take on “Sworn,” to the classical influence found on the album’s closer, “Opus A Satana.” So with no less than two hours of EMPEROR‘s finest work, Scattered Ashes is a fine collection of material from a band that succeeded in every form of music they ever incorporated in their songs as well as serving as worthy tribute to arguably the best black metal band ever. (Candlelight)

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