EMPEROR | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Web site for these Norwegian black-metal legends reads like a tombstone, proclaiming their lifespan as 1991-2001, but they've been shambling around for a few years now in a state of partial reanimation. Having lost drummer Faust to incarceration for murder and bassist Mortiis to, well, being Mortiis, founders Ihsahn and Samoth oversaw the release of a 2003 compilation, Scattered Ashes: A Decade of Emperial Wrath, then put together a live band for a series of festival appearances and European tourlets starting in 2005. Their New York and LA concerts last summer weren't quite as triumphant as the band might have hoped, as visa difficulties kept Samoth from participating--which, frankly, isn't so surprising, since he's a convicted church burner and all. But he's supposed to make it for this go-round, and as of press time the INS light was still green. Lack of new material in no way diminishes the event status of tonight's show--this is a sighting as rare as a Viking longboat gliding up the Chicago River. a 6:30 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $50-$100. A

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