Sunday, 22 March 2009

Moon over Kara-Shehr


I'd planned to write a little bit about this release in a week or so, but with the impending release of "Live Inferno" and the 7" EP I thought maybe it would be time to dig out Wrath of the Tyrant again.

I was lucky enough to see Emperor on their 1993 tour (with a young British band who were the darlings of the UK underground with a couple of demos under their belt, what where they called? Oh yeah, Cradle of Filth. I wonder whatever happened to them?) whilst they were still wearing corpsepaint, before Faust and Samoth ended up in gaol.
It was an exciting time, the second wave of Black Metal was coming through from Scandinavia, Darkthrone were up to the second of their Peaceville black metal albums, and Death Metal, which had become a parody of itself, was starting to change in order to adapt, but in my eyes, never recovered.
On Wrath of the Tyrant, Emperor are still carrying baggage from their Thou Shalt Suffer days; namely death metal style downtuned guitars (if you can make them out from the grim, necro production.)
The demo was re-released later in Emperor's career with four tracks from a split with Enslaved cobbled onto it (rather strangely, at the beginning of the CD if I remember rightly) with Samoth moving over to guitars and Bard Faust coming in on drums, but release I'm interested in, Wrath of the Tyrant, features the trio of Isahn (Guitar/Vocals), Mortiis (Bass) and Samoth (Drums).
This still had the unproduced raw feel; by the time they released their debut full length In The Nightside Eclipse they had changed the lineup and brought the keyboards a bit further forward ("Rick fucking Wakeman" was one description I heard at the time, which was wildly exagerated but the sentiment was there) and for me, the magic was gone. The influence of the howling sound of this first tape is evident right up to the modern day (the new WITTR release is what prompted me to dig this back out again), and the fact that during their set at the Inferno festival, the reunited band included Wrath of the Tyrant.

PS: If you are following us on Twitter, you'll know I promised some reviews of new releases over the next few days...they are coming, but one CD won't be getting reviewed.  Just a quick note, if you include the phrase "Thrash Metal" in a press release, I don't expect a CD full of Lamb of God style, circle-pit buffoonery.
I'm looking at you, Ramp.

No comments: