EMPEROR (1992–2001; 2005–PRESENT). Ihsahn, real name Vegard Sverre Tveitan (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Samtoh, real name Tomas Haugen (guitar, drums, replaced by Bard Faust, replaced by Trym Torson, aka Kai Johnny Mosaker); and Mortiis, real name Ha˚vard Ellefsen (bass, replaced by Tchort, replaced by Jonas Alver, replaced by Tyr, aka Jan-Erik Torgersen, replaced by Sechtdaemon “Odd Tony”), Charmand Grimloch, real name Joachim Rygg (keyboards, replaced by Einar Solberg).
Emperor is one of the best-known and most respected black metal bands since the creation of the movement. The band was founded in 1992 by Samtoh and Ihsahn, and soon became one of the more popular and atmospheric black metal bands in Norway. Sadly, they also demonstrated black metal’s intolerance, and in 1992 drummer Faust stabbed a gay man to death after declining his advances. Samtoh also went to jail for helping to burn down priceless churches in Norway (as noted by Moynihan and Soderlind 1998). Despite the controversy, the band’s music, often well-done black metal, is worth a listen, even if the band members are not worth speaking to in person.
Discography: In the Nightside Eclipse (Candlelight, 1994); Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk (Candlelight, 1997); IX Equilibrium (Candlelight, 1999); Emperial Live Ceremony (Candlelight, 2000); Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise (Candlelight, 2000); Scattered Ashes: A Decade of Emperial Wrath (Candlelight, 2003).