Emperor: In the Nightside Eclipse (1994)

Emperor’s “In the Nightside Eclipse” stands as a frozen monolith of Norwegian black metal. This 1994 masterpiece crackles with raw energy and weaves a chilling tapestry of symphonic darkness, forever defining the genre’s sound.

Track Listing

  1. Intro
  2. Into the Infinity of Thoughts
  3. The Burning Shadows of Silence
  4. Cosmic Keys to My Creations & Times
  5. Beyond the Great Vast Forest
  6. Towards the Pantheon
  7. The Majesty of the Nightsky
  8. I Am the Black Wizards
  9. Inno a Satana

Length: 48:29


Symphonic Black Metal

Release Date

February 21st, 1994

Record Label

Candlelight Records

The Lineup for the Album

  • Ihsahn – vocals, lead guitar, keyboards
  • Samoth – rhythm guitar
  • Tchort – bass guitar
  • Faust – drums

Recording Date

July 1993

Recording Studio

Grieg Hall, Bergen

Produced by

Emperor, Eirik Hundvin (Pytten)

Album Themes/Concept

Darkness and Evil: The album embraces a fascination with darkness in a literal and metaphorical sense. Lyrics frequently reference shadows, the night, and a rejection of light as a symbol of established order or religion.

Satanism: While the band later distanced themselves from outright Satanism, “In the Nightside Eclipse” includes lyrical references to Satan as a figure of rebellion and anti-Christian sentiment.

Occultism: The album artwork, lyrics, and song titles point towards an interest in occult imagery and symbolism, adding a layer of mystery to the music.

Norwegian Landscapes and Mythology: The song “Inno A Satana” explicitly references Norse mythology, and the overall atmosphere of the album evokes a sense of the cold, harsh beauty of the Norwegian landscape. Some fans interpret this as a form of nationalism, while others see it as purely aesthetic.

Album Mood

Atmospheric: Cold, haunting, and majestic.
Aggressive: Raw, furious, and fueled by blast beats.
Dark: Ominous, brooding, and steeped in shadows.
Melancholic: Evoked through certain melodic passages and keyboard interludes.

Album Trivia

Jail Time: The album’s recording was dramatically intertwined with the darker side of the Norwegian black metal scene. Drummer Faust was arrested for murder shortly after recording, and bassist Samoth served time for church arson.

Limited Original Release: The first vinyl pressing was extremely limited, only around 1000 copies, making it a highly sought-after collector’s item today.

Keyboard Controversy: While the album’s symphonic elements became a hallmark of their sound, the keyboards on the album were mostly played by Ihsahn himself, not a dedicated keyboardist, as some fans initially believed.

Lo-Fi Aesthetic: Despite its enduring popularity, the production quality of the album is considered lo-fi, even by black metal standards. This raw, primitive sound has arguably contributed to its cult status.

Legendary Status: “In the Nightside Eclipse” is widely considered one of the most influential black metal albums of all time, shaping the sound and aesthetics of an entire genre.

Release Date

February 21, 1994