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Emperor

When attention first focused on Norway's almost cartoonishly violent black metal scene in the mid-'90s, Mayhem were dubbed its godfathers, but most of the critical accolades were bestowed upon Emperor, whose musical innovations have had more impact on the genre than any other band. Norwegian black metal was rife with anti-Christian sentiment, but Emperor found novel ways of expressing it in their music; while their music could be furious and violent, the group was also influenced by the darkly majestic melodies of Norwegian folk and classical music, which very effectively supported their lyrical subject matter (even if it was frequently unintelligible). Emperor evoked not only Satanic horror, but also the frigid loneliness of bleak Scandinavian winters; additionally, images of pagan nature worship recalled an ancient, idealized pre-Christian past in which Scandinavian culture was one of the world's most dominant (resulting in the sound being tagged "Viking metal" by some). However, even as Emperor's music garnered world-wide acclaim in the heavy metal community, legal difficulties and lineup shifts ensued when a number of bandmembers became involved in the anti-Christian activism and general violence that characterized Norway's underground metal scene at the time.

Emperor's original lineup featured vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Ihsahn, bassist Mortiis (who has been credited with the band's initial interest in Norwegian folk), and drummer Samoth; this trio recorded a demo, Wrath of the Tyrant, in late 1992, and soon added drummer Faust (born Bard G. Eithun), with Samoth switching to guitar. The quartet recorded a split EP with the band Enslaved titled Hordanes Land, after which Mortiis was forced to leave the group -- and the country -- for unspecified reasons; he moved to Sweden and pursued a solo career, often appearing costumed as an elf. New bassist Tchort signed on for Emperor's full-length debut, In the Nightside Eclipse, which earned critical praise and an international cult following upon its release in 1994. However, around the same time, Samoth was convicted of arson after burning down a historical wooden church; Tchort was sentenced for burglary, knife assault, and desecration; and Faust was locked up for arson, burglary, and murder, stabbing a homosexual acquaintance 14 times outside the Olympic Park in Lillehammer after the man made a pass at him.

After Samoth's parole, Emperor regrouped with new bassist Alver and former Enslaved drummer Trym. A three-track EP, Reverence, was recorded in late 1996 as a precursor to 1997's acclaimed Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk, which refined and expanded on the accomplishments of the debut. Alver departed afterwards, leaving Ihsahn and Samoth to split bass chores on record; session bassist Tyr and keyboardist Charmand Grimloch began touring with the group to fill the holes. Emperor's third album, IX Equilibrium, followed in 1999, and the following year the group issued its first concert recording, Emperial Live Ceremony. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Begin EP

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Track List: Jackhammer

Comments

Black metal > all
Dude! Metal in my blood...
metalnorm
These guys by far are one of the best LIVE bands in Black Metal by f**king far. Check em out on youtube \m/
What's with all the hail satans?
Pretty sick stuff! Wish i could see live.
Man they really need all of their albums on here man
saleem.attai e
all hail the EMPERORHORDE
My favorite black metal band
Unless you have PhD in Sciences of Black Metal from The University of Black Metal... who are you to decide what truly is or isn't black metal? And who cares anyway. You like it- enjoy it. You don't like it- skip the track.
However, the COF Poser was actually right, Ihsahn did record some fairly crummy black metal demos in '89 and '90. So I guess he's right in that sense. To me tho, the true Emperor started with the Anthems...

Also- what's with all the Satan hailing? Chill out.
saleem.attai e
all HAIL EMPEROR. only word that can come close to a description is PERFECT. HAIL EMPEROR.... HAIL THE HORDE......
Eh, this is good but I still prefer the more primitive sound of bands like Darkthrone.

jlcrow84, you seem like a poser. If you think CoF is black metal please think again. Aside from the vocals CoF is more of a power metal band than black metal. If you grew up in the 90s then you would know that bands like Mayhem and Darkthrone despise bands like CoF.
Emperor in the late eighties? Get a clue you poser.
Anyone who denies the importance and legacy of emperor is one who denies black metal in general. Although beherit came out months prior with keyboards ihsahn showed the entire world true dedication and musicianship through out late 80's ownward. Check out his solo work or peccatum long hail the emperor of majesty
True Metal is the only form of music that is played here.

It is not only the best form of music, but also the only style of music that let you truly express yourself.

Follow me for many forms of True Metal.

No bands formed after 1999 as 2000 was the official downfall of music.
The most rock & metal stations on Pandora Radio!
Most excellent black metal. And hail logic and science, not stupid cults.
The best black metal band ever. Pure evil, pure intensity, pure chaos. Or should i say impure? ;)
plaguepeddle r
Looking for cheap Black Metal CDS? Go to: www.blackpla g u e r e c o r d s . c o m ...buy 5 CDS for only $20.00!!!
Hail Satan!!! \m/
\m/ \m/ Love this band! Oh, and, uh praise Jesus!
Yes, kings of true black metal, Emperor reigns supreme.
\m/ one of the best black metal bands ever \m/ Praise, Hail Satan \m/
First emperor song I learned how to play!! Hail Satan!!!!
True Black metal!!! At it's very best!!!!!
INNO A SATANA... as amazing a song as the opening 'Into The Infinity Of Thoughts'' Both mind-blowing .
s5253gf
awesome band. Why is there no Nightside Eclipse?
Emperor embodies what Black Metal originally set out to accomplish. Great S**t and thats it.......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Great Black Metal for sure !!!! \M/
I typically like death and thrash metal, but Emperor rapes the s*** out of everything else
Emperor did indeed where corpse paint at one time, and there are pictures of it in some of the album covers
weres in the night side eclipes
Best, and most innovative, complex, and compelling black metal band of all time IMO.
My favourite black metal band ever. Seriously, do bands get any better than this? They make me want to sacrifice a goat every time I hear them.
This is so evil, I listen to it on the way to Church!
I like ancient for the most part even though the female vocals are pretty bad and funny
One of my favourite black metal bands out there.
No Nightside Eclipse?
@Plague of Unicorns: Ancient is one of the classics. impossible to miss
Emperor were the greatest BM band ever!
Wrath of the Tyrant FTW
http://www.m y s p a c e . c o m / a l p h a d e c a y m u s i c
Those who hate are merely the ignorant...y o u guys rock the Miðgarðr!
HAIL THE EMPEROR!
Damn good s**t Emperor is f**king amazing!
Ishahn's voice is enough to freeze an entire field over. He f**king rapes the s**t out of a lot of other vocalists
No s**t they are amazing, one of the best black metal bands ever.
Chances are, you should probably go looking for death metal instead of black metal if you're into growls.
gardnerglori a 4
It's okay...not "growly" enough for my taste...I prefer the demonic glowling...t h e really deep scary kind.
Men in black robes weilding torches and pentagrams is about the last thing I'd call sexy...LOL.

Fantastic atmosphere though.
This band creates a pretty damn sexy atmosphere.. .
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