Embryonic>>Thou Shalt Suffer>>EMPEROR - NORWAY

In The Nightside Eclipse - 1994 - Candlelight
Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk - 1997 - Candlelight
IX Equilibrium - 1999 - Candlelight
Emperial Live Ceremony - 2000 - Candlelight
Prometheus: The Discipline Of Fire And Demise - 2001 - Candlelight
Live Inferno - 2009 - Candlelight

Emperor image
S= Ildjarn, Mactatus, Peccatum>>Ihsahn [Vegard Sverre Tveitan]>>Ildjarn, Mactatus, Peccatum, God Of Atheists - Mortiis [Havard Ellefsen]>>Mortiis, Vond - Ildjarn, Mactatus, Peccatum, God Of Atheists, Solo>>IHSAHN [VEGARD SVERRE TVEITAN]>>Ildjarn, Mactatus, Peccatum, God Of Atheists, Solo
G= Ildjarn, Mactatus, Peccatum>>Ihsahn [VEGARD SVERRE TVEITAN]>>Ildjarn, Mactatus, Peccatum - Zyklon, Zyklon B, Embryonic, Satyricon, Arcturus, Xerasia, Dark Devise, Conspiracy, Burzum, Pentagram, The Wretched End>>SAMOTH [THOMAS HAUGEN]>>Satyricon, Arcturus, Pentagram, Zyklon, Zyklon B, Burzum, The Wretched End
B= Green Carnation>>Tchort [Terje Vik Schei]>>Green Carnation, Einherjer, Carpathian Forest, Satyricon, Blood Red Throne, The 3rd Attempt - Mortiis [Havard Ellefsen]>>Mortiis, Vond - Dodheimsgard>>Jonas Alver - Ildjarn, Mactatus, Peccatum>>Ihsahn [Vegard Sverre Tveitan]>>Ildjarn, Mactatus, Peccatum
D= Decomposed Cunt, Impostor, Thorns, Ildjarn>>Faust [Bard G. Eithen]>>Thorns, Ildjarn, Dissection, Helvette, Aborym, Blood Tsunami, Studfaust, Djevel - Mayhem, Mysticum, Arcturus, Burzum>>Hellhammer [Jan Axel Von Blomberg]>>Mayhem, Mysticum, Arcturus, Covenant, Winds, Carnivora, Nidingr - Enslaved, Imperium, Zyklon, Old Man’s Child, Satyricon, Abigail Williams, God Of Atheists>>Trym Torson [Kai Johnny Solheim Mosaker]>>Zyklon, Old Man’s Child, Satyricon, Abigail Williams, God Of Atheists

Born from the ashes of Thou Shalt Suffer, the Samoth-led Emperor (name inspired by Celtic Frost's The Emperor's Return) was formed in the autumn of 1991. The band had evolved from Embryonic which had issued a demo in 1990 called The Land Of The Lost Souls. Thou Shalt Suffer issued one 7" EP and a demo in 1991. Samoth was initially Samot, which is the man’s name backwards. 1992 brought the Wrath Of The Tyrant demo (re-released through Wild Rags) following which Faust joined on drums. Hellhammer was part of the band too, but things didn't work out. Following a recommendation by Euronymous of Mayhem, Emperor signs to Candlelight and quickly releases a MLP (and a split CD of the same) with fellow Norwegians Enslaved. The MLP showcased a Norwegian black metal band with keyboards and the works. This MCD was the beginning of Century Media's side-label called Century Black.

Just prior to the release of the split, composer Mortiis was asked to leave the band. In The Nightside Eclipse featured five new songs and three older songs. My Empires Doom was now called Beyond The Great Vast Forest. Shortly afterwards drummer Faust was arrested and jailed for eight years (initially sentenced for thirteen) for a gruesome murder of a homosexual man. Then came the arrest of replacement Tchort and the arrest of Samoth for burning of the Skjold church. Samoth spent two years incarcerated. The media frenzy was on and the band sold more albums than ever. With Samoth out of prison the band was active again and The Wrath... demo was given the CD treatment.

Anthems... featured former Enslaved member Torson. Torson had replaced Mefisto. The latter had departed because of "personal problems within the band." Emperor opened for Deicide, Morbid Angel, etc. before becoming a very popular headliner. 2001 brought a new album and a surprise announcement that Emperor will call it a day to concentrate on respective other projects. The announcement was greeted with the full expectation that the band will 'reform' in a couple of years.

Haugen runs his own label called Nocturnal Art. During the summer of 2002 drummer Faust announced a plan to play on a forthcoming Dissection album once the Swedish band is reformed. The participation was rescinded when it became clear that Faust and Dissection's Jon did not see eye to eye.

Candlelight issued a video of the band called Emperial Live Ceremony. As predicted, Emperor 'reunited' in 2005 for a Scream Magazine anniversary show in the autumn of 2005. The band also announced an appearance at the Inferno Festival in Oslo and at Wacken for 2006. An album could not have been far behind.

See you in 2010? At the beginning of 2009 Candlelight Records announced the completion of the final recording (for now anyway) of Emperor. Titled Live Inferno, the release featured material recorded during the band’s 2005-2007 reunion performances. Several formats would be available including a 2xCD/slipcase with 16-page booklet, a limited edition box featuring 2 CDs & DVD with an enhanced 24 page booklet, a single DVD, and two limited edition double-vinyl gatefold sets. April 16th was set as the European release date for the series with April 21 set as the North American release date. The Wretched End was a new Norway-based band featuring guitarist Samoth, bassist Cosmo of Mindgrinder and drummer Nils Fjellström of Dark Funeral and Aeon. The band was in the studio in early 2010 recording its debut album, which was due in the autumn. The death metal band was seeking a label. Former Emperor singer Ihsahn would play keyboards on the 2012 debut album from God Of Atheists, a Norwegian project led by Asgeir Mickelson (Spiral Architect, Borknagar, Sarke , Testament, etc.). The reformed band would headline 2014’s edition of Wacken Open Air festival, due to take place July 31-August 2, 2014 in Wacken, Germany. Samoth, Bard “Faust” and Ihsahn would participate. It marked the twentieth anniversary of the In The Nightside Eclipse album. In the meantime, the singer Ihsahn would release his solo album, Das Seelenbrechen, on October 22nd. The reformed band performed on June 5th, 2014 at the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden. The Complete Works was just that in 2017. The boxed set was issued after a two-year delay. Emperor would return in 2017 for a few shows performing the Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk album in its entirety to commemorate the record’s 20th anniversary. Emperor had a livestream show, called A Night Of Emperial Wrath 2021, on May 23rd. Andréa Meyer (formerly Andrea Haugen), the German artist and model who released albums as Nebelhexë and modelled for Cradle Of Filth was killed in a terrorist bow and arrow attack in October 2021. She was 52 years old and was married to guitarist Tomas "Samoth" Haugen until very recently before her death. Darkness Shall Rise Productions had a 14-tape box containing the complete works of the band and other swag in 2022. It was called Fire & Demise – Into The Infinity Of Darkness. Using the Imperial Darkness Japan Tour 2023, Emperor was playing concerts in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan in March 2023. The band, which had not released new music in twenty years, also had a mini-tour of the USA lined up for June and July.


What is there to say about Emperor that will ring new to the readers? Love them or hate them Emperor have transformed themselves into one of the bigger independent bands and managed to break out in several different ways. It is no secret that this reviewer has had a loathing for the Norwegian band since its inception. The combination of the idiotic actions of the band, muffled chaos of a sound and abundance of childish keyboards have relegated Emperor to the rank of a bona fide commercial boy band in these eyes. On this disc, Emperor manage a relatively good sound, capturing their live stamina and most of their bigger tracks make an appearance. It's all drowned in pop synthesizers still, and the hoarse shouts of the front man regarding whether the crowd wants to hear more do ring of an arena rock band waiting to come out of the closet, but there clearly is a market for these lads. Worth noting is the video on track one which might confuse you with its muted status on your audio CD player. - Ali "The Metallian"