The fourth and final album from one of black metal’s most lauded names, Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire and Demise marks a return to form for Emperor after the divisive IX: Equilibrium. While not quite possessing the focused brutality of In the Nightside Eclipse nor the blackened bombast of Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk, the last disc from Ihsahn and his merry band of cohorts shines with its frenetic unpredictability.
Prometheus sees Emperor go balls to the wall with everything that made fans fall in love with Emperor: quickness, gorgeous symphonics and especially progressiveness, turning the experimental undertones of prior albums into unabashed overtones. This album is oft heralded as Emperor’s most technical, and with the thrashing chops present on cuts like “Empty”, it’s hard to disagree.
While Prometheus is undeniably a must-listen for die-hard black metal fanatics, it sadly clocks in a little low on this list just because it can’t quite recapture the scene-cementing grandeur and impressiveness of Emperor’s first two releases. However, for those who want to fully enjoy Emperor and look beyond the more well-known In the Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk duo, you really can’t go far wrong by using this as your next step.