For some it is the dark, evil atmosphere, for other it is the raw and organic feel it produces... for others it is even a catalyst for the imagination of the listener, and a means to entrance their soul.
But for the posers like Emperor, black metal is nothing more than a media product to sell to the masses and a way to impress emo kids with their "catchy" and "orchestral" symphonies.
Behind the pseudo-sophistical album title "Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk" lies a pile of indefensible commercial crap.
Rather than try to play music that expresses emotion or produces atmospheres, the posers Emperor made the rectal diarrhea known as Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk for the sole purpose of gaining recognition from MTV and selling their commercial merchandise.
Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk is the worst kind of media-whore black metal.
Emperor are a bunch of posers that wear stupid costumes and highly homoerotic makeup (officially called "corpse paint" because they are ashamed of their own stupid imagery). And to make matters worse, they can't even play their instruments.
Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk is basically an intentional cliché of everything crappy about the black metal genre, or to be more accurate it's an intentional cliché of everything Emperor believes they understand about the black metal genre.
If you thought In The Nightside Eclipse was commercial poser crap, try listening to this album.
The guitar riffs are anything but interesting and the production does its best to drown out every other instrument in a sea of shitty Mario themed keyboards. The vocals try to appear harsh and raspy but fail miserably, mostly because the vocalist is a talentless emo. The real problem with the vocals is that they sound so fake, like a spit in the face of the musicians who actually suffer for their art or within their art.
The drumming is also very generic and boring, everything recycles over and over again in an endless sea of crap (or "symphonic" crap). It's like listening to a drumming rehearsal session. It's just the same fills played continuously, which add nothing to the already crappy music but are very swift to get on your nerves. The sad part is that it sounds like the drummer has a decent kit, probably paid for by his rich mom (from whose basement the band is probably recording).
To me there is absolutely nothing which redeems this album, or this band.
Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk is worse than talentless black metal, it's talentless black metal that makes a point to be as commercial and generic as possible.
Once you manage to get past the intrusive, unnecessary and utterly ridiculous synths (if you have the patience to do so), you quickly realize that Emperor is trying very hard to adhere to the most arbitrary clichés of the genre.
But much like Satyrlolicon and other "Black Metal ist Krieg" garbage, the black metal imagery and aesthetics aren't used to express something unique or meaningful. Rather, as with most poser crap, the black metal elements are just piled together to hide the obvious and quite depressing commercial nature of this release.
Unsurprisingly, since they are all MTV idiots, Emperor got the whole thing backwards with regards to the black metal genre, both on Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk and elsewhere.
The superficial black metal elements such the buzz saw guitars, the screeching vocals and the monotonous drumming... They don't account for much on their own and they're certainly not intrinsic to the style.
Emperor's attitude seems to be nothing more than that of a delusional fanboy, believing that all black metal music really represents is a surface aesthetic... a vocal style, a guitar sound, a particular style of melody. Really, those were always relatively arbitrary things, not some sort of "secret metal blueprint" worth trapping under glass and worshiping for the sake of being "kult".
If anything, the brilliance of good black metal comes from the design sensibilities and songwriting behind the grand gestures.
But Emperor gets it all wrong. For them, black metal is just a "trend" used to hide their media posturing and "catchy" pop rock symphonies. And this is why Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk sucks.
It doesn't sound like black metal. Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk sounds like Taylor Swift borrowed black metal instruments for her latest pop rock CD and slapped the "satanic" label on her music to increase her sales.
Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk score: 0/10 (Joke Metal)