Band Photo: Emperor (?)
From: Telemark, Norway
Last Known Status: Disbanded
Beginning life as a trio in the spring of '91 with Samoth (drums/vocals), Ihsahn (guitar) and Mortiis (bass). The band quickly recorded and circulated the now legendary "Wrath of the Tyrant" demo. It was this that brought them to the attention of the then still fledgling Candlelight record label . A deal was inked, Samoth moved to guitar and Bard Faust was recruited for the now vacant drum stool. By the end of the year the band had been once more into the studio to record their half of the "Emperor / Enslaved" split CD which was to eventually surface early in the following year. Mortiis departed for the band, and was after a while replaced by Tchort.
In autumn of '93 a series of headline grabbing events (which are now quite sufficiently documented. For further reading check "Lords Of Chaos". Emperor would suffer the temporary loss of Samoth and the permanent loss of Faust, due to prison-sentences. However, before Samoth has to do time, the band managed to put together a new line-up, with new bass-player Alver, and a session-drummer.
Even though the band was seriously disturbed by the unpleasant confrontations of the imprisonment's and line-up difficulties, the entity of Emperor came out even stronger in the end. By the time Samoth was paroled, Trym (ex. Enslaved) had joined the band on a permanent basis, and the bones of what would become their most epic and majestic material to date were taking shape.
By the end of '96, now fully prepared and rehearsed, they were back in the studio. First firing off the "Reverence" EP to announce their return to the fold and then following up in early '97 with what is without doubt the single most ambitious and important black metal release to date......"Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk". An album of epic savagery. Not only beautiful but bestial in it's wide ranging scope.
Emperor have now moved so far ahead of the field that it would be unfair to even consider them a black metal band any longer. Utilising elements of their more traditional metal roots, operatic vocals and of course their trademark symphonic riffing the band have created an album so mature that it may well take the rest of the competition years to catch up.
Emperor Interviews and Features
Below are our features and interviews with Emperor.
Buried for many years, the seminal Norwegian black metal band Emperor will be resurrected from the dead in 2014 to perform a series of festivals.
With those appearances on the horizon, I got in touch with Emperor member and solo artist Ihsahn to discuss the limited activity - he insists it's not a reunion - celebrating the 20th anniversary of "In The Nightside Eclipse."
While black metal fans have that to look forward to, on the more imminent horizon Ihsahn is also due to drop his latest solo effort "Das Seelenbrechen" at the end of the month (reviewed here).
Rather than continuing the sound hear on albums like "AngL" or previous full-length "Eremita," this experimental release instead goes in entirely new directions. During our chat Ihsahn elaborated, "so for many reasons I thought before I continue my solo work with a full-on metal album again, I would have to do a detour and do something from a different mindset and perspective before I continue. The album is not a new direction, it’s a deliberate sidestep before I continue."
Find out more about the creation of "Das Seelenbrechen," Ihsahn's collaboration with Devin Townsend and Serj Tankian for Revolution Harmony, and his appearance on the upcoming God of Atheists album in the full interview below. More...
When the mighty Emperor finally hung up its crown, guitarist Samoth went on to join Zyklon, which in turn also saw its demise after the release of three full-length albums. The Norwegian guitar prodigy is now back with The Wretched End's first release "Ominous." Samoth took out some time to talk about the changing sound between the three bands, from black metal to death metal and now to thrash influenced extreme metal. He also discussed the fitting apocalyptic themes of The Wretched End, and revealed the band is already working on a second album. More...
Ihsahn has been one of the figureheads of black metal for almost two decades. From his time with the mighty Emperor to his current solo project, the frontman has had a hand in some of the best albums in black metal history. On his third solo album, “After,” Ihsahn incorporates unfamiliar elements into his core sound, including eight-string guitars and saxophone melodies. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ihsahn about the new album, illegal downloading, and the possibility of touring the US. More...