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Emperor

Emperor Photo

Band Photo: Emperor (?)

Formed: 1991
From: Telemark, Norway
Last Known Status: Disbanded

Background

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.

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Emperor EP Seeing Reissue

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...

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Rotting Christ Added To Bloodstock Lineup

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...

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Emperor Reveals Reunion Details

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.

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Headline News

Emperor To Reunite For Wacken Open Air

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.

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Metal Evolution: "Extreme Metal" in Works

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...

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Full Length Metal Documentaries Posted Online

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...

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Arcturus Pulls Out Of ProgPower USA Festival

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."

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Column

Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 3. Emperor

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...

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Lineup Announced For Emperor Tribute Album

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.

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Demonical Records Emperor Tribute Song

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.

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OpEd

The Unblackening Of Metal

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...

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New Metal Songs Coming To The Rock Band Network

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...

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Emperor Invades The Rock Band Network

Friday means another round of songs added to the ever growing Rock Band Network, and this week is now exception. Although many previous metal additions to the network have leaned more towards the rock and metalcore end, this week sees some honest-to-Satan real extreme metal. So pull out those drum pads and warm up your vocal chords, because it's time to convince your neighbors hell has spilled onto Earth with live versions of Emperor's "Curse You All Men!" and "Inno a Satana" (although I can't imagine the bass player will be doing much).

The latest Xbox 360 additions added (including the non-metal tracks) are as follows:

The Apples in Stereo - "No One in the World"
Emperor - "Curse All You Men! (Live)"
Emperor - "Inno a Satana (Live)"
Jenium - "Desperate Days"
Valient Thor - "Doublecrossed"
OWL - "Charmed"
Down Factor - "Blinded"
HourCast - "Hell or Hollywood"
a t o m - "To The Otherside"
The Everybody - "Surf Spy"
Tijuana Sweetheart - "No Mercy"
Sleater-Kinney - "Rollercoaster"
Band of Horses - "No One's Gonna Love You"
Brett Merrill and Brendan Carell - "Beautiful Collapse (Stalker)"
Evile - "Plague to End All Plagues"
Bang Camaro - "Blood Red Rock"
Amberian Dawn - "Incubus"
Robby Suavé - "Electro-Heaven"
XTT - "Fighting Back the Bullies"
Stars of Boulevard - "Sabretooth" More...

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Samoth Auctioning Emperor/Zyklon Guitar

Guitarist Samoth of the new defunct acts Emperor and Zyklon is auctioning off his Jackson Randy Rhoads through ebay. Samoth issued the following statement about the auction and the historical value of the guitar:

"Having been an official ESP endorsee for several years now, Samoth has now decided to Ebay
his classic Jackson Randy Rhoads guitar. This is your chance to own a true piece of Emperor history! This Jackson Randy Rhoads has been one of Samoth's main guitars many years, both in the studio and on the road. It can be heard on such Emperor recordings as 'IX Equilibrium', 'Prometheus' and even seen on the live DVD's 'Emperial Live Ceremony', 'Live at Wacken'. It has also been used on all the Zyklon album recordings, and can also been seen on the Zyklon live DVD 'Storm Detonation', as well as both Zyklon music video's 'Psyklon Aeon' and 'Core Solution'."

The information on the guitar is as follows:

Model: RR-1 Randy Rhoads USA. Neck-thru body, ebony fretboard with shark-tooth inlays
Bridge: Floyd Rose Orig.
Pickups: Seymore Duncan
Colour: Black
Production year: 1998
Serialnr: U06757

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The Wretched End Issues Recording Update

Norway's The Wretched End, a project with Samoth (Emperor/Zyklon) and Cosmo (Mindgrinder), has issued the following studio update:

"Quick update! Cosmo finished the bass tracks last week. Now we’re finishing up lyrics and working on vocal arrangements. Cosmo will be handling the vocals. The pre-prod arrangements sounds very good. We’ll be back at Stand Studio soon to finalize the recordings."

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Headline News

Zyklon Calls It A Day

Norwegian metal outfit Zyklon has announced that they have decided to call it a day, after the band had been inactive for some time. A message from guitarist Samoth (also formerly of Emperor) reads as follows:

"After taking an offical break over two years ago, it has now become the reality that Zyklon is no longer a functional band, and thus the decision is made to formaly split up the band, instead of just letting it decend into nothingness. As a final release from the band, Candlelight Records will later this year put out a boxset, entitled The Storm Manifesto, including all three full-length albums with various bonus material. Zyklon played its final show in Tokyo, Japan on September 28th, 2007.

"All members of Zyklon are still active on various fronts. Samoth is currently in the studio working on the debut album for his new project, The Wretched End. Destructhor is still touring with Morbid Angel, and is still planning to complete a new Myrkskog album with Secthdamon. Trym is mainly working in his tattoo shop, but is scheduled to appear in a new music project soon."

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Ihsahn Reveals New Album Details

Candlelight Records/Mnemosyne Productions today confirmed that Ihsahn's new album "After" will be released on January 25th in Europe and January 26th in the US. Recorded during the first half of 2009, "After" completes the musician’s planned trilogy of initial recordings. The album also includes appearances by drummer Asgeir Mickelson (Spiral Architect), bassist Lars K. Norberg (Spiral Architect), & saxophonist Jorgen Munkeby (Shining).

"This is my first album written with 8-string guitars as basis which has been both challenging and inspiring,” commented Ihsahn. “I also decided early on that I wanted to mix this album with Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia) and recorded the album with that in mind. Asgeir and Lars have again delivered superb performances. I've always wanted to implement the saxophone in my music; Jorgen’s contributions truly added a silver lining to the album."

"After" was recorded at Ihsahn's own Symphonique Studio, with additional work at Toproom Studio (co-engineered by Borge Finstad). “I have felt more confident and more at ease with the material,” relays Ihsahn. “In letting the songs themselves lead the way I just followed the natural impulses." Early discussions in regards to "After" are indicating more live activities but where and when currently remains a secret.

The track listing for "After" is as follows:

1. The Barren Lands
2. A Grave Inversed
3. After
4. Frozen Lakes on Mars
5. Undercurrent
6. Austere
7. Heavens Black Sea
8. On the Shores

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Ihsahn Auctioning Off Guitar

Ihsahn has issued the following announcement about auctioning off a guitar he used during his time with Emperor, Peccatum, and his solo work:

"Over the years, Ihsahn’s guitar-collection has grown considerably, especially since he started working with Ibanez, and space is becoming an issue. His old Esp is already on it’s way to the Rockheim museum in Trondheim and now we’ve decided to auction the trusted Jackson DK1.

"This Jackson Dinky has served as one of Ihsahn's main guitars for over a decade both in the studio and on the road. It can be heard on such Emperor recordings as 'IX Equilibrium', 'Prometheus' and even seen on the Live DVD 'Emperial Live Ceremony', several Peccatum albums and his first solo album; 'The Adversary', doing it’s last service on the first Emperor reunion shows in 2006. The guitar is in very good condition and has few cosmetic flaws.

"Comes in original case and can be signed depending on the buyers wishes.

Model: DK1 USA
Body: Poplar
Neck: Maple/Bolt-on
Fretboard: Ebony with shark-tooth inlays
Bridge: Floyd Rose Orig.
Pickups: Seymore Duncan
Colour: Black
Prod. Year: 1997
Serialnr: 004675

"Shipment costs comes on top, and will depend on where in the world the guitar ends up."

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"Brutal Legend" Track Listing Revealed

GameDaily.com is reporting that the track listing for the upcoming heavy metal themed video game "Brutal Legend," which features the voice of Jack Black, has been revealed. The projected track listing can be viewed below. "Brutal Legend" is set to be released on October 13th in North America and October 16th in Europe. More...

Read the full article at GameDaily.com.

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Mortiis Selling Original Emperor Bass Guitar

Mortiis has issued the following announcement about selling the bass guitar he used during his time with Norwegian black metal band Emperor:

"And for those who might care, we´ve still got that original Emperor bass guitar I used back in ´92. We ended up not selling it the first time around, to be brutally frank, it didn't reach a very great price, and we pulled it out. Click here to check it out.

"If anyone has any questions about the guitar, you can email us at info@mortiis.com and we´ll get back to you asap."

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