This article needs additional citations for verification .(February 2010)
|Spinoff of||Thou Shalt Suffer|
|Members|| Ihsahn |
|Past members|| Mortiis |
Emperor is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1991, regarded as highly influential by critics and emerging black metal bands.    The group split up in 2001, but reunited from 2005 to 2007 for a few festival dates and brief US tours, and again reunited in 2013 to 2014. Emperor reformed for the third time in 2016. The group was founded by Ihsahn (guitar/vocal) and Samoth (then, drums).
In their youth, Ihsahn and Samoth met at a rock music seminar.  The two young men began playing together under various names; first Dark Device, then Xerasia, then Embryonic. The group soon evolved into the now well-known band Thou Shalt Suffer. Soon, however, Samoth began to write music outside of Thou Shalt Suffer, and together with Ihsahn and a new bass player called Mortiis (later of his own eponymous band Mortiis), Emperor was formed. After a short while together, the band released a demo entitled Wrath of the Tyrant . It quickly gained popularity in the underground and attracted the attention of the then-start-up label Candlelight. Soon afterwards, a record contract was signed, Samoth moved to rhythm guitar, Ihsahn continued the vocal duties and lead guitars, and Faust was recruited as a drummer. Emperor released their debut EP, Emperor, under Candlelight Records. The band then was signed to the infamous first black metal label, Deathlike Silence Productions, and planned to release their next album soon, though the band never managed to release any material while signed to DSP.
In the summer of 1992, a series of events were set in motion by the black metal inner circle. Samoth, along with various other black metallers, set out to burn down old churches in Norway. Also in 1992, Faust lived in Lillehammer, and in the newly constructed Olympic park a man named Magne Andreassen approached him and suggested that they take a walk in the nearby forest. Faust agreed, and, once in the forest, Faust claimed the man began to make strong sexual advances towards him. Faust then stabbed the man to death, kicking him in the head afterward to ensure that he was dead.  He was not convicted until two years later. The day after Faust committed the murder, he went with Euronymous of Mayhem and Varg Vikernes of Burzum to burn the Holmenkollen Chapel in Oslo.  In the summer of 1993, the band began working on their first full-length album. Emperor ceased wearing corpse paint; they stated that it was becoming a trend and losing its original significance and symbolism. In autumn of that year, the police began to investigate the murder of Euronymous of Mayhem, naming Varg Vikernes as a suspect; this investigation eventually led to the incarceration of Samoth for arson, and of Faust for the murder of Magne Andreassen.
In 1994, Samoth was sentenced to 16 months in prison for burning the Skjold Church in Vindafjord, together with Varg Vikernes.   The arson was committed during a pause in the recording of the Burzum EP Aske (‘Ashes’). In 1994, In the Nightside Eclipse was released, and earned Emperor widespread acclaim and a large fanbase.
After Samoth's parole, the band was joined by Trym and Alver on drums and bass respectively, and at the end of 1996, Emperor entered the studio to record Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk . Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk won the 'album of the year' poll in many metal magazines around the world, including UK Terrorizer and US Metal Maniacs.[ citation needed ] Bassist Alver soon left.
Aside from their European shows, the band played in Mexico City on 24 July 1999.[ citation needed ]
Now continuing their career as a trio, with Ihsahn handling keyboards, vocals, guitars and bass, the band recorded their third album IX Equilibrium and toured Europe and North America. It was around 2000 when Samoth and Trym started to gravitate more towards death metal, while Ihsahn directed his musical exploration towards his side project, Peccatum. Thus, in 2001, Emperor decided to disband after releasing one final album, Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise , composed entirely by Ihsahn. Ihsahn later recalled that "When we announced the split up in 2001, we didn't think we would do anything more with Emperor ever again...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 we 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".  Samoth echoed Ihsahn's position: "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". 
Following the breakup, Samoth and Trym continued playing in the black/death metal outfit Zyklon, while Ihsahn concentrated on his family project Peccatum. Later Ihsahn announced a solo project, much in the vein of Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise and Peccatum, featuring drummer Asgeir Mickelson of Borknagar and Vintersorg. It has generated positive feedback in the black metal community.
The band played a surprise three-song show in Oslo on 30 September 2005, at which they announced a series of full concerts to take place in California, New York City, and Europe in 2006.[ citation needed ] As of February 2006, they were also scheduled to play at the Inferno festival in April and Germany's Wacken Open Air in August. Samoth was unable to take part in the US tour dates, as his conviction for the arson he committed in 1992 lengthened the process for his visa application, so Emperor performed without him.
On 7 October 2006, Emperor performed at the under-18 Motstøy-festival in their home town of Notodden. The band had wanted to do an under-18 gig and a gig at their home town, so the festival fit perfectly. It was held at a small venue called StuA, and with only 450 tickets available, the concert quickly sold out.[ citation needed ]
On 28 October 2006, Emperor returned to the UK to play a gig at London's Astoria venue, where the band was warmly greeted by fans. In 2007, Emperor played a series of one-off shows in the United States and two festival gigs in France and Finland.[ citation needed ]
A Tablature Book based on their Scattered Ashes: A Decade of Emperial Wrath compilation album, containing thirteen Emperor tracks from their back catalogue, transcribed by Ihsahn with a foreword also by him, was released 31 October 2007 via Candlelight Records. Emperor's albums were also re-issued in a special box version with a bonus poster on 21 August 2007.
Samoth announced on 23 October 2007 that Emperor had begun preparing a second official DVD release.  On 8 December 2008 it was revealed that this release will be called Live Inferno and come in the form of a double-disc live album and a live DVD, taken from their appearances at Inferno and Wacken metal festivals during their brief reunion.  It was released on 16 April 2009 in Europe and 21 April in North America.
On 2 August 2013, it was announced that Emperor would be reuniting to headline the 25th anniversary Wacken Festival in 2014.  In the following months, they were announced as headliners for the 2014 editions of the Bloodstock Open Air and Hellfest festivals. In April 2014, they announced shows in Tokyo and Osaka for July with Trym playing drums due to Faust's visa issues.
On 12 August 2016, it was announced that Emperor would reunite again in 2017 for a special set of performances to celebrate their 20th anniversary second studio album Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk . 
On 27 December 2018, the band announced its presentation at the Mexico Metal Fest in Monterrey, Mexico in 2019. 
Despite playing a handful of reunion shows, Ihsahn has stated that Emperor has no plans to record a new album. He was quoted as saying: "It's kind of a lose-lose thing. The whole point of black metal, people want something that is real and has integrity of what it is. At this point, none of us can see any reason to do that beyond what we already do." 
In 1995, Ihsahn promoted arson in an interview: "Skjold Church was a large wooden church about 100 years old. The church contained an altar board and preaching chair from the 16th century. All this was said to be of historical, Christian value. So it was to be reduced to a pile of ashes. The material damages are set to be of 13 million Norwegian Kroners. The church was still being used by a large flock of blind followers. It became a victim for true Norwegian spirit on the 13th of September Anno 1992 during a stormy night. Witnessed by the moon, this symbolic act of anti-Christian war enlightened the night with pagan flames. Heathen barbarism is on the rise. We will bring back the forgotten past of strength, pride, and victory." 
However, Ihsahn, in a post-1990s interview, attributed his ties to Satanism as being part of his adolescence.[ citation needed ]
In 2014, Emperor attracted further controversy when the original drummer, Faust, joined them for live performances. Faust is a convicted murderer and caused some upset by being part of the shows. 
Burzum was a Norwegian music project founded by Varg Vikernes in 1991. Although Burzum never played live performances, it became a part of the early Norwegian black metal scene and is considered one of the most influential acts in black metal's history. Vikernes has also released four dark ambient and neofolk albums. The word "burzum" means "darkness" in the black speech, a fictional language crafted by The Lord of the Rings writer J. R. R. Tolkien. Burzum's lyrics and imagery are often inspired by fantasy and Norse mythology, and do not feature the political views for which Vikernes is known.
Louis Cachet, better known as Varg Vikernes, is a Norwegian writer and retired musician best known for his early black metal albums and later crimes. His first five records, issued under the name Burzum from 1992 to 1996, made him one of the most influential figures in black metal. In 1994, he was convicted of murder and arson, and subsequently served 15 years in prison.
Samoth is a Norwegian guitarist and multi-instrumentalist in the country's black metal scene. He is well known for his distinct guitar work and drumming in the band Emperor, as well as his formation of the death metal band Zyklon. In very early Emperor releases, he was called Samot, and with the formation of Zyklon he became known as Zamoth. Samoth was the owner of the record label Nocturnal Art Productions and had a close relationship with Candlelight Records.
Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk is the second studio album by Norwegian black metal band Emperor. It was released on 8 July 1997 through Candlelight Records and Century Black.
Øystein Aarseth, better known by his stage name Euronymous, was a Norwegian musician and a founder of and central figure in the early Norwegian black metal scene. He was a co-founder and guitarist of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem and was the only constant member from the band's formation in 1984 until his death in 1993. He was also founder and owner of the extreme metal record label Deathlike Silence Productions and record shop Helvete.
In the Nightside Eclipse is the first studio album and fourth official release by Norwegian black metal band Emperor, released in 1994 through Candlelight Records. It was their only album to feature drummer Faust and one-time bassist Tchort. Considered a landmark in the black metal scene, the album has been ranked by critics as one of the most influential albums of the genre. It also contains some of Emperor's best known tracks, "I Am the Black Wizards" and "Inno a Satana".
Zyklon was a Norwegian blackened death metal band formed in 1998 by Samoth and Trym of Emperor, along with members of Myrkskog. Their style has been described as modern death metal with black and industrial undertones. After more than a two-year hiatus, the band officially split up in January 2010.
Thou Shalt Suffer were a band that was part of the early Norwegian black metal scene. It formed in 1990 at Akkerhaugen, Norway, under the name "Dark Device". Its style was mainly death metal, though it included some black metal traits, alongside Ihsahn's trademark keyboard melodies. The band split up in late 1991 when its members formed Emperor and Ildjarn.
The early Norwegian black metal scene of the 1990s is credited with creating the modern black metal genre and produced some of the most acclaimed and influential artists in extreme metal. It attracted massive media attention when it was revealed that its members had been responsible for two murders, a suicide, and a wave of church burnings in Norway.
Vegard Sverre Tveitan, better known by his stage name Ihsahn, is a Norwegian multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and composer, best known for his work with black metal band Emperor. Tveitan is also a founding member of Thou Shalt Suffer, where he played guitar and keyboard in addition to vocal duties, and Peccatum, a project in collaboration with his wife and fellow musician Heidi Solberg Tveitan, also known as Starofash. Since 2006, Tveitan has primarily devoted himself to solo albums and occasional guest appearances.
Thorns is a Norwegian black metal band that formed in 1989 and was part of the early Norwegian black metal scene. They made two highly influential demos in the early 1990s, Grymyrk and Trøndertun, but have only released one full-length album.
Aske is an EP by Norwegian black metal solo project Burzum. Though recorded in April and August 1992, after Det som engang var, it was released before that album in March 1993, through Deathlike Silence Productions.
Hvis lyset tar oss is the third studio album by Norwegian black metal solo project Burzum. It was recorded in September 1992, but was not released until April 1994, whereupon it was released through Misanthropy Records and Vikernes' own record label, Cymophane Productions.
Bård Guldvik "Faust" Eithun is a Norwegian drummer known primarily for his work with black metal band Emperor. In 1993, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison for murder. He has been out of prison since 2003.
IX Equilibrium is the third studio album by the black metal band Emperor. It was released on March 15, 1999 in Europe and on April 27th, 1999 in US through Candlelight Records.
Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise is the fourth studio album by Norwegian black metal band Emperor. It was released on 21 October 2001, through Candlelight Records. Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise differs from Emperor's previous recordings with a focus on a more progressive style.
World ov Worms is the debut album by the Norwegian black metal band Zyklon. It was released in 2001 by Candlelight Records.
Heidi Solberg Tveitan is a Norwegian musician and singer currently known for her solo project Starofash. Tveitan was formerly half of the experimental band Peccatum, where she performed vocals, keyboards and synths and wrote the majority of lyrics, under the name Ihriel. She is the sister of Einar Solberg, the singer of Leprous, and the wife of Ihsahn of the black metal band Emperor, with whom she runs the production company Mnemosyne Productions as a music producer and manager.
Live Inferno is the final release from the band Emperor. It was filmed during the band's sold out 2005-2007 reunion performances. It was released in Europe on 20 April with several editions available. It is available as a 2CD slipcase with 16pg booklet, a limited edition Digibook featuring 2 CDs & DVD with an enhanced 24pg booklet, a single DVD, and two limited edition double vinyl gatefold sets. The audio portion of the "Live Inferno" series features exclusive recordings from the band's headlining performances at Norway's Inferno festival and Germany's Wacken Open Air festival. The video portion, titled "Live at Wacken Open Air 2006 - A Night Of Emperial Wrath", has a running time of 70 minutes and includes footage professionally filmed at the Wacken Open Air festival with additional on-stage and exclusive backstage footage filmed and compiled by the band.
Emperor is the debut EP by the Norwegian black metal band of the same name. It was released in 1993 via Candlelight Records.