Emperor’s Faust: A Life Forever Changed by a Single Night

Some stories have no heroes, only shades of grey. In a Lillehammer park, a man died under Faust’s knife, putting the drummer and the black metal community into an uncomfortable spotlight.

Bård Guldvik “Faust” Eithun
Bård Guldvik “Faust” Eithun
Key Takeaways
  • Faust, drummer for Emperor, killed Magne Andreassen in 1992 after a sexual proposition, resulting in 37 stab wounds.
  • Arrested in 1993, Faust was sentenced to 14 years in prison but was released in 2003 after serving nine years.
  • Post-prison, Faust rejoined Emperor and other bands, but his violent past continues to cast a shadow over his career.

Dark Turn in 1992

Born Bård Guldvik Eithun on a spring day in 1974, Faust would go on to make a name for himself as a drummer for Emperor, one of black metal’s most revered bands. A key player from 1992 to 1994, Faust later reappeared on stage for a brief period from 2013 to 2014. But it’s not all about beats and blast rolls for this Norwegian musician.

Faust, visiting family, crossed paths with Magne Andreassen, a 43-year-old gay man.

On August 21, 1992, the world had yet to associate Lillehammer, Norway, with the 1994 Winter Olympics. But in the small town’s Olympic Park, another chilling event was unfolding. Faust, visiting family, crossed paths with Magne Andreassen, a 43-year-old gay man. When Andreassen made a sexual proposition, Faust responded in the most brutal way possible.

Andreassen suffered 37 stab wounds at the hands of Faust and died. Faust then made a hasty exit, leaving behind a scene that would cast a long shadow over his career and the black metal community.

Arrest and Time Behind Bars

The curtain fell on the unsolved crime months later when Faust was arrested in 1993. In a disturbing twist, Faust confessed, saying he committed the murder on an impulse, driven by a morbid curiosity. Fast forward to 1994, and Faust found himself sentenced to a 14-year prison term.

Faust confessed, saying he committed the murder on an impulse.

After showing good behavior behind bars, Faust walked out a free man in 2003, having served just nine years. Not everyone welcomed him back with open arms. While some saw this as Faust’s shot at redemption, others couldn’t get past the fact that a convicted murderer was rejoining society and questioned the morality of it all.

Music Journey Post-Prison

The gates of prison swung open for Faust in 2003, but did society’s doors open as well? One would think a murder conviction could be a career-ender, but not for Faust. He rejoined Emperor for reunion gigs and even explored new territories with bands like Scum and Blood Tsunami.

There’s no erasing the past, though. The dark cloud of his violent actions still hovers, sometimes dimming the spotlight on his musical endeavors.

Prison was more than a timeout corner for Faust. In interviews, he’s painted those nine years behind bars as a period of soul-searching. He’s called his actions regrettable, labeling them as impulsive and senseless.

A Dark Note in Norwegian Black Metal

When it comes to the Norwegian black metal scene, you might say it’s a realm where fire meets ice—burned churches and icy stares, that is. Faust’s 1992 incident only adds another layer of complexity to a genre already marred by rebellion and controversy. He’s been quick to clarify that his crime was not fueled by ideology, racism, or homophobia. Rather, it was a senseless act, one he now looks back on with regret.

However, let’s not kid ourselves. The incident remains a grim stain on black metal’s already tarnished tapestry. While Faust may be back behind the drum set, he’s still under the shadow of his own actions, a shadow that stretches across the entire genre.