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. Emperor were one of the bands somewhat involved in the church burnings during the mid 1990s. Samoth was jailed 16 months for taking part in church burnings with Varg Vikernes (Burzum), along with other members of the Norwegian black metal scene.
Drummer Faust was jailed for church burning and for the stabbing and murder of a homosexual man in 1992 (he was never suspected for it until 2 years later when he was arrested in 1994). The group disbanded in 2001 because they felt they had lived up to everything they wanted to with Emperor. They have received "legendary" status, toured worldwide, have a large catalog of releases, and they didn't want to be known as another group that "never knows when to quit making music". The band reunited to play at Scream Magazine's anniversary festival and to headline the 2006 editions of Norway's Inferno Festival and Germany's Wacken Open Air. In an interview with UK Magazine Terrorizer, Ihsahn hinted at the possibility of another Emperor album, but stated that Emperor is now a side project. 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 October 31 2007 via Candlelight Records.
Emperor's albums were also re-issued in a special box version with a bonus poster on Aug. 21, 2007. Samoth announced on October 23, 2007 that Emperor had begun preparing a second official DVD release. On December 8, 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 April 16, 2009 in Europe and April 21 in North America. 2) Emperor is a drum 'n' bass and dubstep DJ from Halifax, UK.
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