By the end of '96, now fully prepared and rehearsed, they went back into the studio. First the "Reverence" EP announced their return to the fold, followed up in early '97 with what is without doubt one of the most ambitious and important black metal releases to date..."Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk,?
an album of epic savagery! Not only beautiful, but bestial in it's wide ranging scope. The press agreed. Not only was "Anthems.." featured in almost every "album of the year poll" across the globe, but actually won the album of the year in both Terrorizer (UK) and Metal Maniacs (USA).
Since the release of the genre defining "Anthems.... " album, things were active in the Emperor camp. Following a couple of tours in 1997, and appearances at Dynamo and Milwaukee Metalfest in1998, the band announced that bass player Alver would be leaving. As a result of this, Ihsahn handled all bass duties on the upcoming "IX Equilibrium" album.
was their single most breathtaking vision to date. Surpassing even the mighty "Anthems..." for its sheer scope of diversity, the album utilized elements from their traditional metal roots, operatic vocals and of course their trademark symphonic soundscape.
With the success of "IX Equilibrium", Emperor set out to conquer new territories as a touring band. They toured Europe as special guests for Morbid Angel, headlined the US on their 1999?
?s "Kings of Terror" tour, and also appeared at various festivals. During this period Emperor recorded the live album and full-length DVD, "Emperial Live Ceremony", which to this day stand as a strong testimony to Emperor?
?s mighty live performance.