I Am The Night
While the Gods Are Sleeping

If you consider yourself an Emperor fan, there are 2 releases this spring/summer of 2022, that you need to be aware of. If you are a fan of the more technical,  latter, Prometheus, IX Equilibrium era stuff, then the upcoming release from Sweden’s, Katharos, Of Lineages Long Forgotten, will be right up your alley.

However, if you consider the Wrath of the Tyrant EP and In the Nightside Eclipse as Emperor’s, nay, symphonic black metal’s pinnacle, then the debut from Finland’s supergroup of sorts, I Am the Night, will be your elixir of choice.

Like The Mist From the Mountains from earlier this year, and the upcoming Pestilent Hex, this is a 90s black metal-inspired Finnish project that features some scene veterans. It consists of guitarist (and keyboards) Markus Vanhala (Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum), bassist Janne Markkanen (ex-Omnium Gatherum), drummer Waltteri Väyrynen (Paradise Lost, ex -Vallenfyre, ex- Bodom After Midnight), and a relative newcomer in vocalist Okko Solanterä (Horizon Ignited), and their love of classic 90s second wave black metal is pretty clear here, and it pretty much boils down to Emperor’s early efforts.

From the album artwork’s color palette, the song titles, the majestic 90s synths, the riffs, and Solanterä’s vocals, it’s clear that In The Nightside Eclipse is the primary influence here, though certainly Dissection’s seminal first two albums and early Dimmu Borgir resonate throughout the album.

Though armed with a modern, cleaner production than Emperor’s more raw early efforts, it’s easy to spot the song references and frosty riffs from the opening introductory title track, though tracks like “Hear Me, O Unmaker”, “I Am The Night”, “Dawnbearer”, and “Ode to the Nightsky” to closer “Holocaust of the Angels” which both have those clean vocals from “Inna A Satana” (which seems to be a reference point for many moments in the album). And all of the songs are excellent, dynamic homages with Vanhala’s keyboards delivering a perfect rendition of Ihsahn’s sublime, crystalline synth work, albeit fuller and clearer. Personally, I found “The Owl”  with its majestic slower midsection and the penultimate “Among the Unseen Ones”, another song with more monkish clean chants to go along with the sweeping majesty, two real standouts.

Ultimately, along with Northwinds Wolves‘ debut, Cold… Dark… Grim from 2018, Warmoon Lord‘s Battlespells from last year, and of course,  The Mist From The Mountains from earlier this year, (though not as fully Emperor based),  this is one of the best Emperor-inspired, second-wave, classic symphonic black metal releases that I’ve heard in the last few years (and certainly the upcoming Katharos will be up there), and a must-listen for fans of the legend’s early offerings

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 9th, 2022

Comments

  1. Commented by: Gabaghoul

    This has been popping up in my feed since I follow Insomnium (huge fan), need to check this out right away. Loving this second wave renaissance lately (Stormkeep, Mist from the Mountains, etc). Will get on Warmoon Lord, Northwind Wolves, and Katharos too, thanks!


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