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.
Latest Emperor News
Below is our complete Emperor news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.
The final bands have now been announced for this year's edition of the Bloodstock Festival, which takes place from August 7th - 10th (get ticket info and other details over here). The organizers of the festival comment:
"The ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ finals have rocked to a conclusion and some more lucky young bands are joining the New Blood stage at Catton Park next month, plus there's a few last additions for the Sophie and Jagermeister stages.
"Balls Deep bring their trad groove metal to the Sophie Lancaster stage. The Brit outfit have been busy honing their ‘Pro-Pain cut with Black Sabbath’ sound, coming on like the bastard sons of Pantera and classic heavy metal.
"Over on the Jagermeister stage, female-fronted power metallers Aceldama will be impressing allcomers with their high octane performance and audience interaction, while New Blood stage stoner rocker’s Resin will be offering an additional acoustic spin on their new material.
"Meanwhile, the New Blood stage welcomes the last clutch of winners from the last batch of M2TM roadshow finals. Goat Leaf bring their doom groove from the Sheffield heats, Oakhaart’s tech death noise hails from Gloucestershire, impressing judges at the Bristol event, Sinpathetic grace us with their death metal from the Preston night, Eradikator’s thrash metal won out in Birmingham, and lastly but not least, Cacodaemonic's unholy, neo-classical infused death metal represents Nottingham."
The full 2014 festival lineup will be as follows: More...
The work of JRR Tolkien has long been a favorite muse of rock and metal artists. This year's Bloodstock bands Megadeth, Amon Amarth, and Dimmu Borgir all have used Tolkien references in their work, along with many others (Nightwish, Gorgoroth and even the likes of Led Zeppelin to name but a few).
Now Bloodstock’s co-founder, fantasy artist Paul Raymond Gregory, is thrilled to bring the two themes together and launch a major art exhibition at Bloodstock this year.
Christened the Rock and Metal (RAM) Gallery, the exhibition is to be a permanent addition to the festival and will provide a showcase for a changing selection of rock-related art and memorabilia. Paul Raymond Gregory’s extensive body of work includes many famous album sleeves and monolithic pieces inspired by the writings of JRR Tolkien. Paul’s first ever album cover commission was in 1984 for Saxon’s "Crusader," so launching the RAM Gallery on the 30th anniversary of Paul’s artistic debut in the metal world is fitting indeed.
This year’s first showing will include all the original Bloodstock festival artwork, going right back to the first indoor event in 2001, plus a wide range of Paul’s album art including the sleeve of Saxon’s latest release "Sacrifice." Representing Paul’s Tolkien work, there will also be a large triptych inspired by The Silmarillion opus (from whence Marillion derived its name). The painting will be mounted in a bespoke hand-carved frame created by framer John Davis. Although John has framed much of Paul’s other work, the triptych features the first frame actually designed by Paul himself. In addition, Paul will be signing copies of his book "Beyond Time And Place," which showcases artwork from the breadth of his career.
The exhibition will also include a small selection of bespoke handmade guitars created by young artist/musician Cynosure who is working to re-define the guitar, not just as a functional instrument, but as a working, playable piece of art.
The current Bloodstock Festival 2014 lineup is shaping up as follows: More...
The Emperor is dead - long live the Emperor! Only scratch that first part, because the legendary Norwegian black metal band is back together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of "In The Nightside Eclipse."
At the recent Hellfest 2014 gathering Emperor performed the album in full, and now footage from the show is available online. Check it out below, thanks to Thrash Zone Radio.
Hellfest Open Air takes places this weekend in Clisson, France and many great acts are set to appear. If you are unable to make the festival, then you can enjoy some of the bands via a live stream at this location. Click on the link and scroll to the bottom.
Among the acts set to be streamed (check out the link for the official "countdown" clock for each act):
We Came As Romans
The almighty Emperor is currently performing a string of live shows supporting the 20th anniversary of "In The Nightside Eclipse."
Yesterday - June 7th - was the band's first official performance since 2007. Footage has now been posted online courtesy of YouTube user Niclas Johansson of Emperor performing "Into The Infinity Of Thoughts" at Sweden Rock Fest. Check it out below.
Emperor will also be releasing "The Complete Works" box set via Blood Music, with details available at this location.
Blood Music has issued the following announcement about releasing a box set featuring the discography of Emperor:
"Blood Music is extremely, incredibly proud to announce the greatest extreme metal band of all-time to its roster - Emperor!
"We've been working behind-the-scenes for more than a year - carefully compiling every detail of Emperor's oeuvre from the minute they began in 1991 until their final breath in 2007. We are working directly in conjunction with the members themselves to compile the most incredible, beautiful, and archival collection one could ever imagine into a massive COMPLETE WORKS box set, due to be released in approximately one year.
"This will be the first time the band's music will be properly remastered for vinyl, as well as presented in true vinyl special editions of any kind. An insane honor for us to take part in.
"Start saving your money this minute. The box set will be a one-time only, limited edition pressing. There will be no copies of our records outside the box set this time. This will be a unique offering that will make a massive mark upon the history of metal and quickly vanish into thin air.
"Oh, and it will be the largest metal vinyl box set of all-time (beating out our Moonsorrow set) and one of the largest vinyl box sets ever created in the history of music. So really ... if you want in on this. Start saving now. Early-to-mid 2015."
The Emperor lineup has also reunited this year for a series of live shows celebrating the 20th anniversary of "In The Nightside Eclipse." More...
The organizers of the Bloodstock Festival have checked in with the following update about confirming more bands for the 2014 edition:
"Things are hotting up at Bloodstock HQ and even more bands are unveiled for 2014!! Joining the main stage bill are the newly renamed, Entombed A.D. After having to change their name from just ‘Entombed’, LG Petrov and his fellow band members are once again ready to let the music do the talking after a year of internal struggles. They release the highly anticipated new album ‘Back to the Front’ on 4th August via Century Media and are eager to get back on the road.
"Getting the heads banging on the Sophie stage on Thursday are British trad metalheads Monument, and bringing their own brand of theatrical madness and extreme metal are former ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ winners, Gethika. Bringing an international flavour on Sunday are death/thrash metallers Krow, who hail all the way from Brazil. Fancy something a little different? Then check out 16-yr old blues star in the making Aaron Keylock, also performing on Sunday’s Sophie stage.
"Not content with that, Bloodstock can also reveal six killer bands for the Jagermeister stage! Grab a couple Jagerbombs and come headbang to Undersmile and King Creature on Friday, plus Massive Wagons and a special acoustic set from Orphaned Land on Saturday. If you’re still standing come Sunday, be sure to catch Rabid Bitch of the North and The Heretic Order."
In addition to upcoming festival appearances (see the promo poster below), Norwegian black metal outfit Emperor will also be performing in Japan for 2014 reunion shows celebrating the "In The Nightside Eclipse" album. Ihsahn and Samoth comment:
"2014 marks the 20th anniversary of 'In The Nightside Eclipse' and we are finally ready to announce that we are coming to Tokyo (July 17) and Osaka (July 18) to celebrate this occasion with you.
"Faust will be performing with us for the European shows, but due to visa issues he will not be able to join us in Japan. However, Trym has kindly agreed to step in and perform with us exclusively for these two shows!
"We have both had the great pleasure of performing in Japan previously, but never before as Emperor. Band and crew are all very excited about this and we all look forward to seeing you there." More...
Last summer, Emperor announced an official reunion for 2014, with Ihsahn, Samoth, and Faust coming together for festival appearances.
Now it has also been announced that Emperor's "As the Shadows Rise" EP will be reissued for the first time since its original release in 1994, strictly limited to 666 copies. Details are available below.
The band has previously stated there will be no new album, but instead this reunion will be to celebrate the "In The Nightside Eclipse" album. Check out our interview with Ihsahn about the reunion and his solo material at this location. More...
Bloodstock has added three headliners to the Sophie Lancaster stage: Rotting Christ, Sister Sin, and Satan.
A teaser trailer for the U.K. fest can be seen below, and this year's edition is set to take place on August 7th - 10th at Catton Park in Derbyshire. There are still many more bands to be announced, and the current lineup is as follows:
Ronnie James Dio stage
DOWN, EMPEROR, MEGADETH, CARCASS, CHILDREN OF BODOM, SAXON, LACUNA COIL, OBITUARY, FLOTSAM & JETSAM, CROWBAR, PRIMORDIAL, LACUNA COIL, PRONG, DECAPITATED, BIOHAZARD, REVAMP, ORPHANED LAND, ABORTED, EVIL SCARECROW
Sophie Lancaster Stage
ROTTING CHRIST, SISTER SIN, SATAN More...
Norwegian black metal veterans Emperor, who recently announced that they will be regrouping for a headline performance at next year's edition of the Wacken Open Air festival, have revealed the details and plans for their 2014 reformation.
The lineup will consist of Ihsahn and Samoth, along with Faust on drums, and they will be performing the album "In The Nightside Eclipse" in its entirety. The band also confirmed that it will not be working on a new album and that fans should not be expecting a major world tour, stating:
"There will be no new studio album or a worldwide tour, only a few exclusive festival appearances next year, to mark the celebration of this landmark album."
Wacken Open Air is so far the only festival that the band has been confirmed for, but more are expected to be revealed shortly.
The organisers of Germany's largest metal festival, Wacken Open Air, have announced in a recent press conference that Norwegian black metal legends Emperor will be reforming to headline the event next year.
This will mark the twenty fifth anniversary of the festival and be held from July 31st - August 2nd in Wacken, Germany.
Emperor members Ihsahn and Samoth both appeared at the press conference to confirm the reformation and answer questions, during which they stated that the band will be performing a number of shows next year, but gave no indication that they were planning to record a new album, which would be their first since the 2001 output, "Prometheus: The Discipline Of Fire And Demise."
Further information will be reported as soon as it becomes available.
Due to an overwhelming demand from metal fans worldwide, Grammy-nominated and Juno award-winning Banger Films is setting out to raise funds to make what has become known as "The Lost Episode" a reality. Metal Evolution: Extreme Metal “The Lost Episode” covers co-director Sam Dunn’s favorite genres: Death Metal, Black Metal and Grindcore, and he is reaching out to metal fans to help make it happen.
“Hundreds of fans have emailed us demanding, pleading, that we do this episode,” says Banger Films co-founder Sam Dunn. “So in response we're launching an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funding within the Metal community to finance the episode. The goal is to raise $175,000 in 90 days!” The campaign kicked off Friday, September 14th. Details of the campaign, including cool donor gifts at various contribution levels. More...
A number of documentaries pertaining to specific scenes and genres in heavy metal, most notably grindcore and black metal, have been posted online via YouTube and are now available to watch, uninterupted, from start to finish. "Grindcore - 85 Minutes Of Brutal Heavy Metal," features segments on a number of bands signed to Earache Records during the 1990's, including Napalm Death, Morbid Angel, Godflesh, Carcass and Paradise Lost amongst others and includes live footage, interviews and music videos.
Meanwhile, two different documentaries on black metal have also been posted online, including "Until The Light Takes Us," which examines the black metal scene in Norway during the 1990's and looks at such bands as Burzum and Darkthrone, complete with interviews with Gylve "Fenriz" Nagell and the then incarcerated Varg Vikernes. Alternatively, there is "Murder Music: A History of Black Metal," a British documentary hosted by Contraband Candy host René Ackermann that gives a much broader insight into black metal, tracing the genre's roots from the theatrics of Black Widow to the Christian black metal scene, and everything in between. You can view all of these films below. More...
European progressive metal act Arcturus has announced that it has pulled out of the forthcoming ProgPower USA XII festival. The band posted the following statement online;
"Arcturus still suffer from hibernation sickness, and due to outdated parts we deeply regret to inform you: We are canceling ProgPower USA. This lack of maintenance is entirely our own fault, and sincere apologies go out to the promoter and all ticket holders, especially those of you who had planned to travel far."
Festival promoter Glenn Harveston has since announced that Arcturus is being replaced with former Emperor frontman Ihsahn. A statement from Harveston is available below.
"I have no idea what the hell that [Arcturus] statement means. I'm not going to try and figure it out either, as I have wasted enough time and effort on that 'band' already. In the meantime, I would like to personally thank Ihsahn for taking the slot. His professionalism in this situation is greatly appreciated."
As many people are aware, February is Black History Month in the United States of America. Always one to respect cultures and take part in something, we here at MetalUnderground.com are dedicating this month to the history of Black Metal. We will be looking at some of the biggest names in the genre, those who helped to shape it, and some of the promising younger black metal bands in the underground.
The Emperor is dead, long live the Emperor! Or at least that’s how the rallying cry goes these days, and with good reason. Bands like Immortal and Marduk may still be churning out albums in our current decade, but if there is one name synonymous with black metal, it is Emperor. In honor of black metal history month, we previously looked at two bands that influenced early black metal (Sodom and King Diamond), and now we’ll delve into the heart of the subject with a band that represents the core ideals and sounds of the genre.
Despite having only recorded four main studio albums, the last of which came out a full decade ago, Emperor is still one of the most widely known, widely respected, and widely requested black metal bands in existence. The group of kids from Norway who became Emperor probably had no idea what they were going to eventually birth when they started putting together rasping screams and freezing cold atmosphere. Emperor has left a lasting mark on the world of extreme metal, and not just for fans of Norwegian black metal. More...
Metal Wamp and Tryzna Production will release a tribute dedicated to the legendary Norwegian black metal band Emperor. Titled "In Honour Of Icon E," the tribute album will feature several bands presenting cover versions of various Emperor songs.
The currently announced bands taking part in this new tribute are: Taake, Helheim, Troll, Horna, Setherial, Demonical, Saltus, Mesmerized, Necrodeath, Midnight Odyssey, Silva Nigra, Infer, Ancestroal Volkhves, and Karpathia.
A promotional poster for the upcoming Emperor tribute album release can also be viewed at this location.
Sweden's Demonical has issued the following announcement about recording a song for an upcoming Emperor tribute album:
"We have recorded 'Night of the Graveless Souls' for the 'Essence of Icon E - a tribute to Emperor' album. This is the first official tribute album - everything approved by the Emperor members and Candlelight Records - honoring the legendary Norwegian masters of black arts.
"Taake, Horna, Setherial and Helheim are some of the other bands taking part in this journey. The album will be released in co-operation between Metal Swamp and Tryzna Production later in 2011."
You can also check out a promotional poster for the upcoming tribute album at this location.
From the very beginning, heavy metal has been about rebellion against established norms and restrictive social institutions. That theme has never prevented metal from being influenced by the greatest of mankind’s various systems of organized repression, however. Using a guitar and a microphone to express discontent over the actions of parents and governments inevitably led to bands expressing their disgust with the beliefs behind those actions. Whether musicians are singing about it, railing against it, or just simply partaking of it in their free time, religion has an undeniable role to play in nearly every sub-genre of heavy metal.
Plenty of bands have been built up around an anti-religious atmosphere, whether a simple general sentiment or a full-on fervor that drives the music. Despite metal being frequently identified with an anti-religious standpoint, the style has more than its fair share or religious spokesmen. Famous musicians such as Dave Mustaine of Megadeth have never been particularly quiet about their Christian faith, even if they don’t expressly promote it in any given song. Explicitly Christian metalcore acts are also rapidly gaining widespread attention, with groups like August Burns Red taking over Hot Topic and acts like I The Breather touring the U.S.
In general, it would seem the thrash metal world either doesn’t care about Mustaine’s religious affiliation or is willing to overlook it for the sake of the music. Thrash certainly has its share of anti-Christian songs, but it’s a genre that’s more concerned with social issues or an overall aggressive musical feel than anything dealing with supernatural belief systems.
As any fan of metal can easily attest, not all genres are built equal, and what appeals to one metal head is a serious turn off for another. Black metal is easily among the most infamous of all metal styles, having cut its teeth in the early ‘90s across a back drop of church burnings and sensational media stories of power struggles between Satanic leaders. Names like Emperor and Mayhem were starting to make waves and become recognized in the underground not only across Europe, but also in the U.S. and abroad. More...
It's a big week for the Rock Band Network, with loads of new rock and metal songs hitting the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii platforms. The 360 edition recently saw new tracks from Kataklysm, Emmure, Comeback Kid, and Evansecence. The Wii is catching up to the other consoles, seeing songs from Emperor, Warpath, Evergreen Terrace, Graveyard BBQ, Death Angel, In This Moment, and Otep on December 21st. The complete list of newly added Rock Band Xbox 360 songs, including the non-metal tracks, is as follows:
Don Johansen - "Unbound Soul"
Sabrosa Purr - "Fashion Kills"
Partially Poetic - "She's a Runaway"
Nonpoint - "Alive and Kicking"
Strayplay - "Vuvuzela Anthem"
Evanescence - "Going Under"
Michael John Ahern - "Drive"
Philip Franco - "Jam"
Rainbowdragoneyes - "Creatures ov Deception"
Comeback Kid - "Do Yourself A Favor"
The Word Alive - "The Hounds of Anubis"
Garage A Trois - "Rescue Spreaders"
Emmure - "10 Signs You Should Leave"
Blessthefall - "Hey Baby, Here's That Song You Wanted"
Matt "Chainsaw" Chaney - "Donuts, Go Nuts!"
Kataklysm - "Determined (Vows of Vengeance) (2x Bass Pedal)"
BS (A. Whiteman) - "Swallow My Children"
Raven Quinn - "Catalyst"
Single White Infidel - "The History of Execution (featuring Bluefusion)"
Bojibian - "Hallway"
I Am King Tony - "Stereo Stereo"
Rain Dogs - "Fallen"
Fear of Water - "Firewall"
Driven By Entropy - "Escaping"
Woe, Is Me - "[&] Delinquents" More...