Emperor Announce 30th Anniversary Livestream Event


Legendary black metallers Emperor have announced that they’ll celebrate their 30th anniversary with a special livestream event.

Says the band:

“2021 marks 30 years since the formation of Emperor. With the current state of the world, it’s been impossible to go ahead with scheduled plans. We now welcome you to join us in an exclusive streaming event. The show will take place at Notodden Theatre, 23rd of May.

“The setlist will feature tracks from the entire catalogue, as well as very special guest appearances from original bass player Mortiis, who appeared on the Wrath of the Tyrant demo, As the Shadows Rise EP and Emperor mini album, and ex-drummer Faust, who appeared on the As the Shadows Rise EP, Emperor mini album, as well as the landmark album In the Nightside Eclipse.”

Tickets are available here.

Faust (né Bård Eithun) last performed with Emperor in 2014. He was convicted of murdering a gay man, Magne Andreassen, in 1994. He served nine years in prison, claiming that “I put behind me the hatred and negativity” which led to Andreassen’s murder. In 2018, we asked Emperor frontman Ihsahn about his willingness to keep working with Faust. Ihsahn told us:

“I can understand from an outside point of view, you see a person that committed a crime, and then that’s all you know about a person. If somebody from your family does something like that, that’s just a part of the person you know.  We just have to admit to ourselves that we have different parameters for the people close to us than those who are distant. It’s just individual perception. But we got some criticism, especially for bringing Faust with us on stage. People thought that by us doing that, we were condoning the actions he did in the past, and the potential audience would be condoning it by watching the show with him on stage. But my reply to that was ‘Okay, we can all have individual souls and ideas about what is the right penance for a crime.’ Some think the death penalty is okay, some think it should be milder, but in Europe we don’t have the death penalty. We have a justice system that says for this crime, you serve that amount of time. Once you’ve done your time, you can start over. You can have your individual perceptions of whether that is fair or not, but if it’s morally okay for the bureaucratic legal system, and it’s still not morally right enough for you, or politically correct enough for you, maybe black metal isn’t for you. You can’t have true black metal without the craziness. There’s nothing kvlt about politically correct black metal. You really don’t get to choose. It’s like a big author with alcohol problems – does that affect the quality of their writing? People change, people say ‘It’s all in the past, and now they’re successful, so it’s okay.’”

Meanwhile, last year, Ihsahn explained why he’ll never make a new Emperor record:

“This is something that I’ve been giving a lot of thought, not necessarily because I want to but because I basically get asked that every interview I do… [Laughs] Honestly, there’s definitely a compliment in that.

“Obviously, since I get that question a lot, people hope for a new Emperor record. And in that, I interpret that people have had a strong connection to the music we did in the past. They discovered Emperor music and it resonated with them. And the compliment is that they want more of that; they want to have more of that feeling.

“But then again, if we were to make another Emperor album, what kind of Emperor album could be possibly made that would satisfy that need? And, first of all, would anyone like a Norwegian true black metal Emperor album that was made to satisfy a commercial need? That’s the first point.

“And secondly, how would we go about making an Emperor record like that – where we try to copy something out of the Emperor stuff that people have this connection to and try to fake our way into making a product that would satisfy that? Or would we just continue where we left off and make something based on where we are today musically?

“In my book, if it was up to me… Considering that I did the entire last Emperor album on my own and wrote everything, if it was up to me, it would sound like my solo albums. Just with a different logo. That’s how I make my music, and for me personally…

“With no disrespect to Samoth or Trym, from the way I work now, it would be a very strange compromise where I make the style of music that I do. Based only on people involved there, I couldn’t pick a saxophone player or anything for Emperor. It would be a whole different thing. It would be very compromising for me, considering where I’m at today.

“I get that. I’m a music fan myself, and I’m humbled that people have a strong relationship with something that I was a part of. But I don’t think… If we would make an album like that, I’m sure we could make a lot of money doing that. We would make everything we did back then.

“The absolute uncompromising nature of Emperor is perhaps why we are still able to travel around the world and play our songs to people that they still have a connection with. We never did those compromises and I think that’s what people trust. I see no reason after almost 30 years that we would start making those compromises now. I think that would be a discredit to ourselves and to all the dedicated fans that we have.”

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