In a recent interview with U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine, EMPEROR frontman Ihsahn was asked how it feels to know that one of Rob Halford's favorite albums is EMPEROR's "Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk". "Coming from him, it really feels like a compliment, because he doesn't have to say that," Ihsahn said. "He can say whatever he wants. So if he says something like that, it's because he genuinely feels that way and he means it."
He continued: "He's the sweetest guy; every time I've met him and spoken to him on the phone, he's been amazing. And he's a genuine fan of music as well, and of new metal in general. And just look at JUDAS PRIEST. If we're talking about development — they've done 'Sad Wings Of Destiny' and 'Turbo' and 'Painkiller'. The integrity of being JUDAS PRIEST means it's always PRIEST, but they always have that willingness to change and express themselves in new ways."
Ihsahn added: "If someone told me when I was 10 years old a fraction of what I would be doing, like talking to Rob Halford and playing shows with JUDAS PRIEST, I would have probably had a heart attack."
Halford has long spoken about wanting to work on a black metal album, revealing more than a decade ago that he had discussions with Ihsahn about doing something together.
Last year, he told Noisey that he still hopes something will happen in the future.
"The black metal project!" he said. "It keeps being about to lift the launchpad, but it never quite gets anywhere. I met Nergal from BEHEMOTH recently, and I said, 'You know I love your kind of music. I would love to kind of put my toe into the water and see what would happen.'
"So now I've got these two very nebulous, but I hope at some point very real opportunities, to do something with Nergal and still something to with Ihsahn.
"'Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk' — that's my big EMPEROR album. Both of them are incredible; they just have this real mastery of their world."
Ihsahn released his seventh solo album, "Ámr", in May 2018 via Candlelight/Spinefarm.