May 112020


(Continuing with her ongoing series of interviews with metal drummers, this time Karina Noctum spoke with Trym Torson, who of course is the drummer for Emperor, and formerly for Enslaved and Zyklon, among other groups.)


Enslaved played Frost in its entirety in Bergen in 2018. It was a pretty special show with artificial snow and all that, really good. I don’t recall seeing you there. Why weren’t you a part of it?

Ivar told me to stay the fuck away and not ruin the evening! No, I’m just joking, I was never invited, so I never went… Continue reading »

Oct 182018


(One of our Norway-based contributors, Karina Noctum, prepared this evocative review of the Motstrøms concert on September 29 at the Myrens Dam in the heart of Norway’s Telemark region. All of the accompanying photos were taken by Andrea Chirulescu.)

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Motstrøms, which translated from Norwegian means “against the current”. Motstrøms was a celebration of a long and many-faceted musical career. It was about Emperor, Ihasahn’s solo project, the projects he has developed together with his wife Heidi Tveit, as well as the musical contributions of significance from other important musicians such as Leprous and Raphael Weinroth-Browne, among others.

Motstrøms is a fitting name indeed, taking into account Ihsahn’s musical character. I was excited when I first heard about it, and felt right from the beginning that it was going to be a special evening. I started getting “the I can’t believe I’m here” feeling just before arriving, the kind of feeling I do not get in Oslo anymore. Besides, Emperor were going to play some songs, and I had to be there. I have been following pretty much every Emperor concert I could attend, and I’m grateful for any new concerts because I know it will stop abruptly some day, and that will be it. Continue reading »

Apr 262018


(One of our Norway-based contributors, Karina Noctum, had the good fortune of recently interviewing Ihsahn, whose new album Àmr will be released on May 4 by Candlelight/Spinefarm, and we present their discussion here today.)


You mix together several genres in one song a lot, and this is complicated enough, so how do you compose? Do you have lots of riffs first or does the song develop out of an idea?

I think it’s more the latter. Although in my early years my way of doing it tended more towards having lots of riffs and then putting them together. But as a solo artist it has been more centered around an idea and developing everything taking it as a starting point.


But what about this idea, is it a musical one or can it be anything?

It is a musical one. Often times it has been just one vocal line. Take my first solo album, there is a song called “Called by the Fire” in there and those were some lines that I sang while driving, and all singing started from there. But frequently it is a musical theme, or a progression for example.


Does the music you listen to influence you when it comes to writing music?

I get inspiration from lots of sources. You named the fact that I bring in many genres… I do feel I still create music that belongs to extreme metal and Black Metal, but I get inspired by other musical landscapes. Other musical textures are something that I like to combine with the music, as it gives it a special character. Continue reading »

Aug 132014


(NCS writer Andy Synn attended part of the Bloodstock Festival in England last weekend and files this report, with his own photos.)

For various reasons I was only able to make it to the one day of Bloodstock Festival this year. Thankfully that one day happened to be headlined by the legendary Emperor, so I’m not massively complaining!

Due to some issues getting my new laptop (it’s lovely and shiny and I’m writing this column on it right now), I ended up running a little late that morning and so, after picking up my two companions, got to the festival site a little later than planned. As a result I missed out on both The King Is Blind and Shining (Nor), but was there in time to see Old Corpse Road bring their eloquent mix of dark folklore and blackened intensity to the Sophie Stage. Continue reading »

Aug 062014

(Here’s another installment of Andy Synn’s irregular series devoted to his favorite things that come in fives. As always when he does these things, please feel free to share your own list in the Comments — in this case, your favorite bands you’ve never seen live.)

It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these random little columns. I bet you were beginning to think I’d forgotten about them, hadn’t you?

Well, my strange predilection for numerical lists of my favourite things has reared its ugly head again, and this time we’re dealing with the mournful issue of bands I’ve never (for a variety of reasons) managed to see live!


Let’s start with a big one, shall we? I love Extol. They are one, if not the biggest, of my favourite bands. Their dissolution back in 2007 seemingly put paid to my chance of ever seeing them live, but now they’re back with an amazing new album and are playing a few select live shows… well, let’s just say that there are few things I wouldn’t do for a chance to see and hear them perform! Continue reading »

Jun 232014

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been fucking off in Texas since last Thursday. Finally got back to Seattle last night after a thoroughly enjoyable four days in Austin. I didn’t listen to much metal while I was away, but I did make lists of things I wanted to check out after I got home. And so I did, and so here are a few of those discoveries.


The 2014 edition of HELLFEST in Clisson, France, ended last night, and most (if not all) of the performances are available for viewing at the French site (collected here). Yesterday I embedded streams of the sets by Sólstafir and Watain, and I thought I’d include one more this morning. This one is the full set by Norway’s Emperor, who have been celebrating the 20th anniversary of In the Nightside Eclipse with a series of festival performances (they will also be performing at Wacken Open Air in Germany and headlining the 2014 installment of Bloodstock Open Air in the UK).

A person could spend days watching the HELLFEST videos, which of course you won’t do because that would divert your attention from reading every word of every post at NCS. But you might at least make time for this one.

(thanks BadWolf) Continue reading »

Jun 082014

On June 7, 2014, Norway’s legendary Emperor performed at the Sweden Rock festival in Solvesborg, which was arranged as part of the band’s commemoration of the 20th anniversary of In the Nightside Eclipse. For this show, the band consisted of Ihsahn, Samoth, Faust, and two live session members — bassist Tony “Secthdamon” Ingebrigtsen and keyboardist Einar Solberg.

A video surfaced today which shows the end of the introductory music and the band playing “Into the Infinity of Thoughts”, the second track from In the Nightside Eclipse. The video quality is excellent, and the audio quality is good enough. And hell, it’s Emperor live in 2014 and what are you waiting for? Watch and listen next… Continue reading »

Feb 092014

Emperor, who are reuniting to play at Wacken 2014, posted the above photo on their official Facebook page yesterday. I just saw it.

The photo was taken by Bjørn Tore Moen.  It was accompanied by these words:

“Emperor – In the Nightside Eclipse 2014.
Faust – Ihsahn – Samoth”

Let the rampant speculation begin. And if you happen to actually know what it means, please clue us in. And please don’t tell me that it’s just the 20th anniversary of the album and nothing more. That’s no fun.

Sep 272013

I know it seems like all we’ve done recently is collect new songs for you to hear, but there’s a good reason for this: All we’ve done recently is collect new songs for you to hear. In fact, we’re doing it again in this post, though we’ll be breaking the habit with a review or two later today. I’ve had more time than usual to go exploring, and I continue to find new music that get’s me pumped up. So, here we go again… and the bands, in alphabetical order, are MindGrinder (Norway), Vaura (U.S.), and Year of No Light (France).


Until about two days ago I didn’t know MindGrinder existed, despite the fact that they produced two albums in 2004 and 2005. But in my defense, eight years is a long time between albums, and yes, they did release a new album on September 20 entitled Prop Agenda. I found out about it haphazardly, because the artist who created the cover (Eliran Kantor) is someone who I follow on Facebook and he happened to post the cover on his page.

That peaked my curiosity and I went in search of music and found two cuts from the album. The first one I heard is a cover of Emperor’s “I Am the Black Wizards”, on which the father of Emperor’s Samoth (who is a renowned blues artist in Norway) laid down the bass track. It blew my fuckin’ mind (you can tell I’m enthusiastic because I can’t help but use the F word when I get excited). Continue reading »

Aug 022013

Well, holy shit, this is some news.  This morning an Ihsahn meet-and-great at Wacken Open Air turned into an Emperor meet-and-greet. Wacken’s organizers converted the session into a press conference at which they announced that Emperor will be re-uniting to headline the 25th anniversary Wacken Open Air, which will be held from July 31-August 2, 2014 (at Wacken, Germany, of course.

According to this report, Ihsahn and Samoth were both present at the press conference and answered questions about the band’s reunion dates in 2014 as well as the possibilities of a new album (!!!).  I’m still hunting for details about what was said on those subjects, and I’ll update this when I learn more.

Emperor played played Wacken in 2006 and last performed together in 2007 at festivals in France and Finland. Their last album was Prometheus – The Discipline Of Fire And Demise, released in 2001. Continue reading »