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Thread: Emperor 'Prometheus'

  1. #1
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    Default Emperor 'Prometheus'

    Any opinions on this masterpice from Norway? It seems to be that this album has been grossly misinterpreted and overlooked; for various unfortunate reasons I should add.

    The main reason I believe this to be is that the band who created it came from a black metal background and therefore put extremity at the forefront of the album's characteristics; putting off a large number of people in metal as a whole, who might otherwise give it more of a chance.
    Then secondarily - I also think that the album was not understood; the approach to song-writing "went over people's heads".

    If more people gave this stunning piece of work (to this date unmatched by the songwriter, Ihsahn) they would see that it has incorporated influences from Shostakovich and Hindemith, for example, as well as numerous other 'expressionist' composers from the 20th century who were not afraid to use atonality in conjunction with traditional classical elements in order to create a dark atmosphere.

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    Senior Member Johnny's Avatar
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    Don't have this. I doubt it's better than In The Nightside Eclipse. I will check it out though.

    When people say something like a particular album goes over people's heads, I don't know what they mean.

    And could you be more specific with where you see influences? And are you saying if people realised the album was influenced by those people, they would/should like it more?

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    'Prometheus' should be considered as if it was by a different band. It is not befitting to see it in the same vicinity as an early album like 'In the Nightside Eclipse' because in musical evolutionary terms it is so far removed from it.

    By "going over people's heads" I mean nothing more or nothing less than the principle of it being misunderstood; as if it was not comprehended as a piece of work.

    And could you be more specific with where you see influences?
    - The influences seem very obvious to me in the approach to scales, progressions/movements, avantgardism and so on. The melodies all bear the stylistic qualities of contemporary classical music from the early 20th century, IMO. Obviously if the tracks were played by an orchestra this would be more apparent.

    And are you saying if people realised the album was influenced by those people, they would/should like it more?
    - Not necessarily; only that they should be aware of it when they listen to the album: in other words to look past Emperor's context and background, and see it from purely compositional terms and artistic expression.

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    Senior Member Johnny's Avatar
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    By "going over people's heads" I mean nothing more or nothing less than the principle of it being misunderstood; as if it was not comprehended as a piece of work.

    I still don't know what you mean. How can something not be comprehended as a piece of work? What are you talking about?

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    Senior Member Johnny's Avatar
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    approach to scales, progressions/movements, avantgardism.

    Pretty loose vague stuff there as well IMO. I'd welcome something more specific though.

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    You know what, I'm gonna go back and give this another listen to today. I remember when it came out, and I definitely wouldn't say it was "overlooked" as it was as popular as a black metal release is going to get. Believe me (I was there!), high school kids were running rampant with it!

    Personally, I had a hard time liking anything outside of Nightside Eclipse, and within the popular black metal band range, I always thought Old Mans Child was the much more interesting and creative band. Later emperor just seemed so.....like great musicians who lost their spark and were just going through the motions. But clearly I'm in the minority on that one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
    approach to scales, progressions/movements, avantgardism.

    Pretty loose vague stuff there as well IMO. I'd welcome something more specific though.
    OK, you could also look at the works of Schoenberg and indeed Stravinsky. I don't want this to turn into a name-dropping session though.
    I have not studied 'Prometheus' from a music theory point of view, i.e. analysing each arrangement from a compositional aspect. As a musician I would need some time to work out riffs by ear or see the score. Besides, this topic was not intended for me to research a music theory lesson - I'm not going to reply with an insight into how it incorporates the wide diapason of possibilities between the diatonic and the chromatic, polyphonically. The best answer I can give you is to go away and listen to the album thoroughly.

    With regards to your other quote - I don't know how else I can put it. An art piece can either be understood, e.g. conceived by an ear which can take in the entire holistic picture, or not understood, e.g. in the non-interpretational/subjective sense, not having a grasp of the complex orchestration, or otherwise remaining puzzled by the piece as a whole.

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    Senior Member Johnny's Avatar
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    I would have thought if these influences were so obvious you'd be able to be more specific. But whatever.

    An art piece can either be understood, e.g. conceived by an ear which can take in the entire holistic picture, or not understood, e.g. in the non-interpretational/subjective sense, not having a grasp of the complex orchestration, or otherwise remaining puzzled by the piece as a whole.

    Still don't know what you're talking about. But whatever.

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    when it comes to emperor, i can appreciate their progressive, classical interpretatiopns, but it doesn't really make for the best music. so for me it's 92-96 (demos - anthems to the welkin at dusk) material that gets played. they were probably the most intellectual and musical Black metallers ever.

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