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Active between 1991 and 2001, Emperor were one of the central figures of the infamous Norwegian black metal scene. Formed by guitarist/vocalist Ihsahn and drummer Samoth, the band eventually also included bassist Mortiis (who went on to launch his own group, Mortiis) and Faust, who took over on drums when Samoth moved to rhythm guitar. Faust and Samoth ended up in prison for murder and church burning, respectively. Despite – or maybe because of – the notoriety brought to the band by these crimes, Emperor's first two albums, In the Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk, remain definitive in black metal, marked by walls of shimmering guitar, infernal wraith screech and thrumming double-bass drums. Ultimately eschewing the corpse paint they helped popularize, the band gradually morphed into a progressive metal act. With the 2001 release of Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise, Emperor broke up so Samoth could concentrate on his death metal band, Zyklon, and Ihsahn could devote more time to Peccatum, an experimental metal act he had formed with his wife, Ihriel, in 1999. The band re-formed and started playing surprise shows and appearing at festivals in 2005.
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