In first place let me say that I love this kind of re-release, where the band changes the original recording and makes something "new", by looking at the past with the present's eyes.
The re-release of "In Times Before the Light" is a remix of the original album, with new vocals and keyboards. I've heard that they were recorded over the original tracks, since there were no original tapes, but this is kind of a rumour.
In 1995, that album was really raw, with a bad production, where you could almost hear no bass, and everything sounded kind of amateur, except the music which was really good already. In 2002, things are a bit different, but that sense of "rawness" never disappears.
"Towards the Crown
of Nights" has a new intro, and in place of the original chorus keyboards, you can hear something that really sounds like vocal chorus, plus additional keyboards that fill the remaining spaces. The vocals lost that original rawness and now are distorted, getting similar to what "The Kovenant
" currently are. The whole song has a more industrial feel on it, and this is a good starting point to what this album is all about: picking the old black metal work and turn it into an industrial black metal work.
Other tracks like "Dragonstorms" or "From the Storm
of Shadows" improve the sound a lot with a whole new mood on them, making the listening experience a lot different. "Night
of the Blackwinds
" is a perfect example of that, with new keyboards changing the mood completely.
conquest" still is a great song, which was kept more or less the same and in this case I prefer the original one clearly.
One of (both albums) best moments is "The Chasm
": a great song with it's fast tempo, direct drumming and great rhythm. The original is a bit more powerful, but both are great to listen.
Overall, we should not compare things directly because the albums have such a different production, being the older one much more raw and with a bad sound and that could lead to one's liking more the new version.
I guess that this re-make of the original work is a work of it's own, with strong value to the fan's collection, but not really interesting for the new fan who should try Animatronic
and S.E.T.I first, then maybe Nexus Polaris
, and then get to both "In Times Before the Light".
I'd rate it as a 14/20 since it's a far from perfect work, but still it is a very interesting album to listen