Emperor (band)

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Emperor were a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1991. They dissolved in 2001, but reunited in 2006 and again in 2007 for a few festival dates and brief US tours. The group was founded by Samoth on drums and Ihsahn on guitar and vocals.

Contents

Biography

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. The band 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 the ancient churches of Norway.[2] Also in 1992, Faust lived in Lillehammer, and in the newly-constructed Olympic park a homosexual man named Magne Andreassen approached him and suggested that they take a walk in the nearby forest. Faust agreed, and, once in the forest, 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.[3][4] 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 Church in Oslo. In the summer of 1993, the band began working on their first full-length album. Emperor toured with the then little known British group Cradle of Filth, and after this tour the band 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.

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