"some music was meant to stay underground..."

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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Watch Scum's 'Protest Life' Video Online

Scum's latest video to their new single 'Protest Life' from their debut album, 'Gospels For The Sick' is now on Yahoo! Music. You can watch the video here.

Scum, the black metal band featuring Amen's Casey Chaos, plus Samoth and Faust (ex-Emperor), have signed a deal with Tabu. Their debut album, 'Gospels For The Sick', was released in November in the US this year.

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Scandanavian Rock & Metal Book Released In 2006

RockDetector.com is publishing a two-volume book set, "Scandinavian Rock & Metal", in the first quarter of 2006. The books cover all styles of rock and metal from Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. In the now-expected Rockdetector style, executive editor Garry Sharpe-Young covers each band's history in meticulous detail, including lineups, URLs and a complete discography, along with track listings, labels, catalogue numbers and chart positions. The two books will each be approximately 500 pages each, listing well over 1,200 bands covering heavy metal, death metal, black metal, melodic rock, progressive rock and beyond. Fjords, Vikings, the midnight sun and a thousand lakes — the perfect breeding ground for the most epic of heavy metal! Scandinavia has exported its rock and metal to all corners of the globe, ranging from the shred exploits of YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, the operatic pioneers NIGHTWISH, the pomptastic EUROPE, the heavyweight HAMMERFALL to the extremist forms of black and death metal in EMPEROR, MAYHEM, DIMMU BORGIR, MARDUK, DARKTHRONE and BURZUM. "Scandinavia has really been the hotbed for emerging rock talent for over a decade now," says Garry Sharpe-Young. "Once EUROPE, TNT and YNGWIE MALMSTEEN had made their mark on the international scene, Norway's floodgates opened and poured a black metal plague upon the world with BURZUM, EMPEROR, MAYHEM, DIMMU BORGIR, and DARKTHRONE. Since then, Sweden made a huge impact with acts such as HAMMERFALL, IN FLAMES, SOILWORK and KATATONIA and subsequently Finland has really raised its head and is now without question the most metal place on planet earth! All these bands, from all genre spectrums are included. Some of the band histories are positively labyrinthine when you get into the detail of who played for who under what pseudonym. This really is a true monster of a book."

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Emperor Frontman On Solo Album

EMPEROR frontman Ihsahn has set "The Adversary" as the title of his upcoming solo album, tentatively due next year via a collaboration between Mnemosyne Productions and Candlelight Records worldwide. Owned/operated by partners Ihsahn and Ihriel since 2003, Mnemosyne Productions was established as an outlet for duo's musical collaborations as well a place for new talent and innovative artists. Final stages of album recording are currently underway at Symphonique Studios in Norway with the final mix planned for early 2006. A video is planned for the song "Invocation", though specific details as to director and concept are still in development.

"The music is a continuation of my work within the metal genre," said Ihsahn. "It incorporates influential elements from all periods/stages of my background since I first picked up the guitar 20 years ago. Powerful, epic, extreme and straight from the heart."

All music and lyrics for "The Adversary" have been written and performed by Ihsahn with exception of drums, performed by Asgeir Mickelson (BORKNAGAR, SPIRAL ARCHITECT). "He has been the perfect drummer for this album," noted Ihsahn. "He has really brought to live the patterns I programmed in pre-production.

In a recent interview with Britain's Terrorizer magazine, Ihsahn elaborated on what the fans can expect to hear on the upcoming CD:

"When I'm doing an Ihsahn solo album, I have to build on my musical upbringing, and the majority of that is metal with a progressive and experimental leaning," he told Terrorizer. "With PECCATUM we've tried out as much as we could both musically and artistically, but with this I wanted to do a metal album. I allowed myself to work with two guitar tracks, piano and programmed drums while I made this album. Actually, I worked without these limitations and the material went everywhere. Then, early in 2005, I wrote the basics in a couple of months after I made some restrictions for myself. But musically I've tried to sum up my experiences with metal music on this album, and it sounds the way I see the metal genre in 2006. . . I can tell you that I'm extremely satisfied with all the songs on this album, and there will be no fillers on it. Lyrically, it's a very angry album and everyone gets a slap in the face."

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Emperor Vocalist To Release Solo Album

Emperor vocalist Ihsahn Ihsahn is to release a solo record next year. It's to be called 'The Adversary' and will be released by Ihsahn's own company, Mnemosyne Productions, in association with Candle light Records.

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Elitist Records Is No More

Long-running U.K. record label Elitist Records has officially closed its doors. "Many thanks to all who supported the releases and appreciated the ethic behind the label," said label founder Lee Barrett in a statement. "I’ll now be A&Ring for another label. More news when it's available."

Elitist was founded in 2002 as an imprint division of the legendary Earache Records. It was solely A&R'ed by Barrett, the ex-owner of Candlelight Records and the person reportedly responsible for discovering such acts as EMPEROR, OPETH, ENSLAVED and many other.

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Blood Tsunami Writing New Material

BLOOD TSUNAMI, the Oslo, Norway-based thrash metal band featuring drummer Bard G. Eithun (a.k.a. Faust; SCUM, ABORYM, ex-EMPEROR), are currently spending their time writing and rehearsing new material for their next studio assault. "The new stuff is brutal beyond belief and true fans of quality thrash metal won't be disappointed," the band write in a statement. "The plan is to hit Lion Heart Studio in Oslo, Norway during December this year and record a full-length album."

BLOOD TSUNAMI was formed in 2004 by guitarist and vocalist Pete Evil, who hooked up with Jay on drums and began to arrange and rehearse some metal riffs he had written, but never used during his years in the rock 'n' roll/punk band called HELLRIDE.

The music of BLOOD TSUNAMI was, and still is, nothing but vicious and aggressive old-school thrash metal, heavily influenced by early SLAYER, TESTAMENT, EXODUS, METALLICA, DESTRUCTION and KREATOR.

Soon Riff Randall joined on bass and Dor stepped in on the second guitar. Shortly after they recorded their first demo and on August 24, 2004 they performed their first show. This carnage took place at Last Train, a small rock 'n' roll bar downtown in Oslo, and BLOOD TSUNAMI played support for the mighty Swedish death metal legends ENTOMBED.

After a while, Riff Randall decided to leave the band and was quickly replaced by Bosse, who used to play bass with Pete in HELLRIDE. The band continued to play live and got to play support for another legendary band, namely DEICIDE from Florida. This happened at John Dee in Oslo on October 22, 2004.

Not many months later, Jay also decided to drop out of the band to focus on his work as a graphic designer. Determined to get BLOOD TSUNAMI back on track, Pete soon called up Faust and asked him to join the band. Faust liked what he heard and agreed to give it a try.

With a new lineup intact, the band hit Lion Heart Studios and during three days in July 2005 they recorded another demo. The outcome of this session can be heard at myspace.com/bloodtsunami (English) and NRK.no (Norwegian).

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Emperor Discuss Upcoming Shows and More

EMPEROR's creative core, guitarist Samoth and frontman Ihsahn recently spoke to Terrorizer magazine about their upcoming reunion concerts and their plans for the future. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

On the band's break-up:

Ihsahn: "When we announced the split in 2001, we didn't think we would do anything more with EMPEROR ever again."

Samoth: "At that point, we both had other priorities that we wanted to pursue and we both felt that splitting up EMPEROR was the best thing to do. We really wanted to focus on other things, and felt it was the only right thing to do."

Ihsahn: "The decision was also based on the feeling that EMPEROR had a lot of integrity and that if we were going to end it, we should end it while still created great music. For us, the decision was made in the black metal spirit. Since Samoth and I pulled in different directions, we didn't see any point in continuing. The core of the band wasn't intact anymore. We probably could have made more money continuing with EMPEROR, but we didn't start playing black metal to earn a living."

Samoth: "We talked about doing a couple of farewell concerts right after the split, but all those discussions always ended up in us doing long tours all over the world, and we really didn't' want to do that. Now we have the time and the inspiration to do a couple of exclusive shows, just like we discussed. Another thing is that when we split up, we hadn't played since 1999 and 'Prometheus' was a studio project. Everything was done in a studio, and we didn't really feel like starting to rehearse again just to do a couple of shows at that point."

Ihsahn: "This is something we want to do now, and we're not doing it for anybody else. We're doing these shows for ourselves and the fans that have supported us and not the business behind everything."

On the band's surprise three-song gig at Scream's 15-year anniversary party at Oslo, Norway's Rockefeller on Sept. 30, 2005: More...

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Emperor Announce Two U.S. Shows

Candlelight Records today confirms two American shows for legendary black metal band, EMPEROR. The announcement follows recent confirmations of European shows that the band will perform in 2006.

EMPEROR, featuring vocalist/guitarist Ihsahn, guitarist Samoth, and drummer Trym, disbanded prior to release of their 2001 album "Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise". The record, an essential release for Candlelight's first year of US operations, remains one of the label's top selling US releases. In late 2004, Candlelight reissued each of Emperor's four genre-defining albums - "Wrath of the Tyrants", "In the Nightside Eclipse", "Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk" and "IX Equilibrium". Each album reworked with additional bonus footage and material unavailable previously on both European and US-licensed versions.

"Wrath of the Tyrants," being part one, "includes very rare, exclusive footage of pre-Nightside rehearsals plus live outtakes from our first tour (in support of CRADLE OF FILTH, 1993)," says guitarist Samoth. "In the Nightside Eclipse," part two, "includes edited material from a live show in Oslo for the song "Towards the Pantheon," as well as various other clips from live recordings in 1997."

Forming in 1991, EMPEROR recordings have sold hundreds of thousands worldwide. Their impact on black/extreme metal ranks them as one of the genre's most influential. Respected by musician, fan and critic alike, EMPEROR recorded their final album, "Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise", in 2001, shortly thereafter announcing they were disbanding (with Samoth and Trym continuing on in new band ZYKLON; Ihsahn contributing to his ongoing band project PECCATUM). Kerrang's Dom Lawson called Prometheus, "a staggering masterwork; a fitting testament to the musical genius."

Confirmed shows are noted below. Information regarding ticket on sale dates will follow.

July 14 - New York, NY @ B.B. Kings Blues Club
July 16 - Los Angeles, CA @ Key Club

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Zyklon Begin Recording New Album

ZYKLON, the Norwegian band featuring EMPEROR members Samoth (guitar) and Trym (drums), have begun recording their third album, tentatively titled "Disintegrate". The album is being recorded at Akkerhaugen Lydstudio in Norway with time already set at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden for the album's mix in early February. The band have confirmed nine song titles for the album, including "Wrenched", "Cold Grave", "Disintegrate", "In Hindsight", "Skinned and Endangered", "Vulture", "Subversive Faith", "Underdog", "Ways of the World", and "Vile Ritual".

As recording starts the band are also hard at work with final edits on their planned first DVD, titled "Storm Detonation Live". Recorded at Germany's 2004 Party.San Open Air festival, the DVD will contain the band's live show plus exclusive on-the-road/backstage footage, an exclusive look into reheasals for the band's new album and both "Psyklon Aeon" and "Core Solution" videos. More...

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Celtic Frost and Emperor Coming To the US?

According the Virginia based venue Jaxx's official site you should E-mail them at jaxxwebmaster@comcast.net if you would be interested in seeing CELTIC FROST and EMPEROR perform live - therefore hinting at the possibility of the bands coming to the US for a tour.

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Brand New Emperor Photos Posted Online

Several photos of EMPEROR's surprise performance at Scream's 15-year anniversary party at Oslo, Norway's Rockefeller Friday night (Sept. 30) have been posted online at this location (all photos were taken by EMPEROR guitarist Samoth's wife Erin).

As previously reported, EMPEROR reunited after four years to play a surprise three-song set at Scream's anniversary event. Samoth told producer Patrizia Mazzuoccolo of the Norwegian metal radio show "Tinitus" that last night's performance was "a short teaser that we are using to announce full headline shows we are doing next year. This is a cooler way of announcing them instead of telling people through our web site." It was announced last night after the band's set that EMPEROR will headline the Inferno festival (April 13-15, 2006) in Oslo, Norway and Wacken Open Air (August 3-5, 2006 in Wacken, Germany) next year.

The illustrious black metal band, whose split in 2001 took the scene by surprise, performed three tracks — "The Loss And Curse Of Reverence", "I Am The Black Wizards", "Inno A Satana" — and received a rapturous welcome by an ecstatic crowd.

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Headline News

Reunited Emperor To Headline Inferno Festival

Influential Norwegian extreme metal outfit EMPEROR will reunite for the 2006 edition of the Inferno Festival, set to take place April 13-15 in Oslo, Norway, it was announced Friday night at Scream Magazine's 15-year anniversary event at the Rockefeller in Oslo..

EMPEROR split up on a high note following the release of 2001's "Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire..." The members have since concentrated on other bands such as ZYKLON and PECCATUM.

In addition to headlining the 2006 edition of Norway's Inferno Festival, influential Norwegian extreme metal outfit EMPEROR will perform at next year's Wacken Open Air, set to take place August 3-5, 2006 in Wacken, Germany. Other bands confirmed for the three-day event include CHILDREN OF BODOM, SOILWORK, SUBWAY TO SALLY, IN EXTREMO and DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER.

Commented EMPEROR members Ihsahn, Samoth and Trym in a statement: "Greetings, metalheads of the world! We are proud to announce that EMPEROR will headline Wacken Open Air 2006. Join us, as we re-enter the nightside to chant anthems of equilibrium, fire and demise!"

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Aborym Set "Generator" As Fourth Album Title

Italian black metallers ABORYM, now featuring former EMPEROR and current SCUM drummer Bård "Faust" Eithun, have set "Generator" as the title of their fourth album, tentatively due before the end of the year via Season of Mist. According to a press release, "'Generator' holds the spirit of dark and unparalleled black metal bound together with a crushing death metal approach — all stitched up with the Italians' fantastic ability to naturally incorporate electronic elements and layers.

"Generator" features Eithun on drums, Prime Evil (MYSTICUM) on vocals, Fabban Malfeitor on bass, synth and backing vocals and Nysrokinfernalien on guitar and guitar synths.

Here is the "Generator" track listing: More...

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Danzig Announces Blackest of the Black Tour

Glenn Danzig, at the forefront of the hardcore/dark metal movement for more than 25 years, announces that the 2005 "Blackest of the Black" tour will kick off in San Diego at the end of September and end on the west coast on Halloween. For the sophomore year of this Fall traveling festival, Danzig has assembled a line-up of the crème de la crème of the hardcore/dark/black metal bands - Chimaira, Behemoth, Himsa, Mortiis (ex-Emperor), and The Agony Scene. Danzig will headline, of course.

Danzig's performance on all dates of the "Blackest of the Black" tour will feature former Misfits' guitarist Doyle Von Frankenstein for a special 30-minute set of Misfits classics. Doyle joined Danzig on a handful of tour dates last winter (New York, Philadelphia, Boston) for "the closest thing to a Misfits reunion you're going to see."

"'The Blackest of the Black' tour is for extreme bands that sell out venues across the country, that sell records, but don't get radio play or get on MTV," said Danzig. "It's anti the corporate crap nu-rap-metal that gets shoved down fans' throats at other concerts." The "Blackest of the Black" festival was organized by Danzig and debuted in the Summer of 2003 with Danzig, Superjoint Ritual, Opeth, Nile, Lacuna Coil and Behemoth on the
bill. "I'd like to see this being an on-going event," Danzig added.

In addition to organizing and headlining the "Blackest of the Black" tour, Glenn Danzig will see the release of the DVD "Il Demonio Nera" (evilive) on July 12. "Il Demonio Nera" is a collection of videos, video outtakes, alternative versions and previously unreleased music videos from the band's "Danzig 4" and "Danzig 5" CDs. His new CD, "Black Aria II," the follow up to 1993's "Black Aria," has been completed and will be released later this year, and Glenn is in the process of shooting his first feature film, "Gerouge," which he has written and will direct. "Gerouge" is based on one of the comic book titles distributed by his Verotik publishing company, and concerns Turn of the Century New Orleans Voodoo.

Confirmed dates for the "Blackest of the Black" will be announced shortly.

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Scum Sign Record Deal With Tabu Recordings

Scum, the black metal band featuring Amen's Casey Chaos, plus Samoth and Faust (ex-Emperor), have signed a deal with Tabu. Their debut album, 'Gospels For The Sick', is released later this year.

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Faust Joins Aborym

Former EMPEROR and current SCUM drummer Bård "Faust" Eithun has officially joined Italy's ABORYM as a a full-time member. "I am gonna go to Rome at the end of April to record the fourth album of these cyber black metallers," Faust said in a statement. "I am very excited to hear the result since this is the first time that ABORYM will combine acoustic, organic drums with the electronic beats they have used so far. Should be interesting I think."

In other news, Faust has joined the Norwegian "punk noisers" BOMBEROS, featuring former MAYHEM singer Maniac. "This is a nice break off to the metal music I normally play," Faust said. "The plan is not to conquer the world but rather just play music, do some gigs and fuck around a little."

SCUM, an all-new project featuring Faust, Samoth (ZYKLON, ex-EMPEROR), Happy Tom (TURBONEGRO), Casey Chaos (AMEN) and Cosmocrator (MINDGRINDER), recently recorded their debut album at Crystal Canyon Studio (TURBONEGRO, WE, EUROBOY) in Norway. Although no label or album title has been finalized, provisional songtitles include "Gospels for the Sick", "The Truth Will Be Sold" and "Hate the Sane".

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Zyklon Reveal Tentative Title For New Album

Norway’s ZYKLON, featuring ex-EMPEROR guitarist Samoth, have announced that their forthcoming new album, due out sometime this year through Candlelight Records, has the tentative title "Disintegrate".

Songs to be featured among the album’s tracklisting include: ‘Disintegrate’, ‘Vulture’, ‘Vile Ritual’, ‘The Four Corners’ and ‘Scum’.

In other news, Zyklon have completed work on their new video, for the track ‘Core Solution’. It will be available soon online. The band are also planning to release a full length DVD, details as they become available.

In live news, Zyklon were recently added to the bill for this year’s Wacken Open Air Festival, scheduled to take place August 4th - 6th in Wacken, Germany.

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Scum To Release "Gospels For The Sick" In 2005

Scum, the black metal band featuring Amen's Casey Chaos and former Emperor duo Samoth and Faust, are to release their debut album early in 2005. Expect it to be called 'Gospels For The Sick'.

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Former Emperor Members Form New Band

Two years ago, a group of people convened to discuss the possibility of making an album that would impact the world music scene like never before. Some rehearsals took place in 2002 and ideas and plans were thrown back and forth. However, due to prior commitments and time conflicts, the line up was forced to change. But the core of the group maintained the idea and finally, in the fall 2004, the decision was made to make it happen. Scum was spawned.

Now you have the eccentric punk rocker Casey Chaos, you have Samoth and Faust from Emperor appearing together on an album for the first time in over 10 years, you have the denim stud rocker Happy Tom from Turbonegro and you have the fresh blood of Cosmocrator from Extreme Metal band MindGrinder.

The blueprint of this album was simple. Having some of the most respected pioneers of True Norwegian Black Metal, that genre was used for the basis, and blended that with a punk rock attitude, as well as various aggressive hooks.

This is an album of action and freedom. A unique alliance to address the state of affairs in music, and bring life to a dead and politically correct society.

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Watch Emperor's 'Empty' Video Online

Emperor are out with the video to their new single 'Empty', from the album 'Prometheus: The Discipline Of Fire & Demise'. You can watch it online at Launch.com.

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