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IHSAHN Is Potentially Open To Doing A New EMPEROR Record

Depending on the circumstances.


Emperor put out four massively influential black metal (and progressive metal) albums starting with their 1994 debut In the Nightside Eclipse and ending with their entirely Ihsahn-composed 2001 effort Prometheus: The Discipline Of Fire & Demise. Emperor broke up after Prometheus, but has done quite a few reunion shows in the past decade.

The topic of a new Emperor record has come up many times in interviews with frontman Ihsahn, and every time it's been shot down by Ihsahn asking what the band could even have to offer at this point. This time in an interview with Heavy Music Magazine, the answer is a little different.

Ihsahn said in the interview that he's still not sure what a new Emperor record would look like 20-plus years after their final album, but he'd be open to trying if the band felt they had something to say artistically.

"If I had a dime for every time someone asked that… That's, of course, a question that has come up a lot. And I think it's easy to answer and it's kind of hard at the same point. Because to start with, for 20 years, I've been, like, 'No way.' I've seen no point in doing that. But it's always come up. And it's something that me and Samoth have to relate to. And sometimes we touch on it more like just by coincidence.

"From my perspective, and I can only speak for myself, so far it's been very hard to see where we would pick up. The legacy of Emperor is that we never compromised. I think that is what appealed to the people who got into this music, that it was not made in a certain way for people to like it. It was just made totally without compromise, and people picked up on it probably because of that honesty.

"If we were to make another Emperor record, should we make something that sounded like the old stuff? Which would be easy, but it wouldn't really be true. Or should we pick up where we left off with [Prometheus: The Discipline Of Fire & Demise from 2001], with me doing more and more experimental stuff. I'm not sure that would be what the fans would want. In the end, what would be the motivation outside any commercial things? And I think for it to happen, we would have to come to a place where our ideas aligned and that it felt right to do, in the same way that the shows have come together and we are now in a place where it feels right to do, where everybody's kind of in the same place.

"So, before [my response would've been] immediately no, but if circumstances would have it that we would connect creatively and that we could create something on the same pure kind of values that we did in the first place, then I would be open to do that."

In the meantime, go catch Emperor out on the road this spring as they celebrate their 1997 album Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk. Get tickets here.

6/23 Chicago, IL Aragon Ballroom
6/25 Brooklyn, NY Kings Theatre
6/28 Dallas, TX South Side Ballroom
6/30 Los Angeles, CA YouTube Theater
7/1 Anaheim, CA House Of Blues

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