IHSAHN Says He Would Be Open To Making New EMPEROR Album Under Right Set Of 'Circumstances'

April 8, 2023

EMPEROR frontman Ihsahn (real name: Vegard Sverre Tveitan) says that he would be open to the idea of him and his bandmates writing and recording a comeback album under the right set of circumstances.

EMPEROR's last studio album, "Prometheus - The Discipline Of Fire & Demise", was released in 2001 and was written entirely by Ihsahn. The band broke up shortly thereafter, with Ihsahn going on to pursue a solo career, while guitarist Samoth (real name: Tomas Thormodsæter Haugen) partook in a variety of bands, including SCUM and ZYKLON. EMPEROR has reunited frequently in ensuing years to perform live, but has continually resisted calls to release new material, something Ihsahn says he is no longer completely opposed to.

Asked in a new interview with Australia's Heavy if there will ever be a follow-up to "Prometheus - The Discipline Of Fire & Demise", Ihsahn said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "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," he continued. "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," Ihsahn explained. "Or should we pick up where we left off with 'Prometheus', 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 [I would have said] 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," he added.

EMPEROR will embark on their first U.S. tour in over 15 years this summer. The trek will kick off on June 23 in Chicago, Illinois and conclude on July 1 in Anaheim, California.

Formed in 1991, EMPEROR's game-changing debut "In The Nightside Eclipse" (1995) created the template for symphonic, bombastic, melodic black metal, while the follow-up record, "Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk" (1997) became an instant hit. They disbanded in 2001 following the release of "Prometheus – The Discipline of Fire & Demise". They reunited periodically between 2005 and 2014. In late 2016 it was announced that EMPEROR would reunite again for a special set of performances to celebrate the 20th anniversary of "Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk". This legendary album cemented EMPEROR's reputation as the flagbearers of black metal and is still recognized as one of the most influential in this genre.

Photo credit: Bjørn Tore Moen / Freeman Promotions

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