Samoth (born Tomas Thormodsæter Haugen, 9 June 1974) is a musician and multi-instrumentalist in the Norwegian black metal scene. He is well known for his distinct guitar work and drumming in the band Emperor, as well as his formation of the death metal band Zyklon. In very early Emperor releases, he was called Samot (his name "Tomas" backward), and with the formation of Zyklon he became known as Zamoth. Samoth was the owner of the record label Nocturnal Art Productions and had a close relationship with Candlelight Records.

Samoth on Metalmania 2007
Samoth on Metalmania 2007
Background information
Birth nameTomas Thormodsæter Haugen
Also known asSamoth, Samot (early)
Born (1974-06-09) 9 June 1974 (age 47)
Hammerfest, Norway
GenresBlack metal, death metal, thrash metal
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, bass, keyboards, drums, viola, violin, double bass, synthesizer, vocals
Associated actsEmperor, Zyklon, Zyklon-B, Burzum, Gorgoroth, Satyricon, Mayhem, Scum


Samoth was born on 9 June 1974 in Hammerfest, Norway. He is the son of Spoonful of Blues bass player Jens Haugen, who encouraged his son to play bass guitar. He grew up in Akkerhaugen, Norway. When Samoth was a young man, he met a fellow musician, who would later become known as Ihsahn, at a rock clinic in Bergen. The two soon became friends and started playing music together. They formed a band and moved through various names – they were called Dark Device, Xerasia, and finally Embryonic. The group eventually settled on the name Thou Shalt Suffer in 1991. They were playing an early form of black metal with keyboards strongly influenced by death metal, particularly vocally.[citation needed]

Samoth and Ihsahn's friendship proved to be strong, and the two eventually took their musicianship to a new level. Partially due to the influence of Euronymous of the band Mayhem, Samoth left Thou Shalt Suffer and with Ihsahn, began writing music for a new band called Emperor (in which he played drums). Ihsahn was the only member of Thou Shalt Suffer to remain, and soon bass player Mortiis and drummer Faust were recruited for Emperor; Samoth moved back to his more familiar position of guitar. At this point, the group was playing fully developed black metal. Emperor was quick to release several demos in 1992 and 1993, which gained them recognition and popularity in the underground. Mortiis did not stay in the band, and decided to form his own, more electronic-based solo band. He was succeeded by Tchort.[citation needed]

In 1994 Samoth was sentenced to 16 months in prison for burning Skjold Church in Vindafjord, together with Varg Vikernes.[1] The arson was committed during a pause in the recording of the Burzum EP Aske (Ashes),[2] where Samoth performed as a session bass player. As Tchort and Faust were also imprisoned at this time, Ihsahn was the only remaining band member outside prison, and Emperor did not release another album for three years. Tchort and Faust did not return to the band.[citation needed]

After years of playing in Emperor and being featured on various black metal side projects, Samoth, in conjunction with Ihsahn, decided to dissolve Emperor in 2001 due to their differing musical tastes. Although black metal was both Samoth and Ihsahn's biggest influence and favorite genre of music, Samoth was leaning toward a futuristic death metal sound, while Ihsahn was more influenced by progressive metal and symphonic metal. After Emperor's final release, Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise, composed entirely by Ihsahn, Emperor was no more. Samoth went on to play guitar with fellow drummer Trym in the death metal band Zyklon.[citation needed]

Emperor regrouped in 2006 with the core trio of Ihsahn, Samoth and Trym augmented by a bassist and a keyboardist, and played a few one-night-off gigs in Europe and USA in 2006 and 2007.[citation needed]

Recently Samoth was involved in Norwegian-American supergroup Scum, which also featured Bård Faust, Cosmocrator of Mindgrinder, Chasey Chaos of Amen and Happy Tom from Turbonegro.[citation needed]

He has one daughter with ex-wife Andrea Haugen. He remarried since his divorce and he also has a daughter with his wife Erin.[3]

Samoth did voice work for 2007's Adult Swim cartoon Metalocalypse episode "Dethfashion".

Endorsements and equipmentEdit

Other equipment

Drum kitEdit

Samoth has stated in an interview with Metal Hammer that the following kit was used by himself to record drum tracks for the demo "Wrath Of The Tyrant".[citation needed]

  • Pearl Export Drums (jet black w/ black hardware)
    • 22" x 18" Bass Drum
    • 13" x 6.5" Snare Drum
    • 10" x 8" Mounted Tom
    • 12" x 9" Mounted Tom
    • 13" x 10" Mounted Tom
    • 16" x 16" Floor Tom
    • Pearl Eliminator Double Pedal
  • Sabian and Wuhan Cymbals
    • 20" Sabian Solar Ride
    • 14" AA Sizzle Hats
    • 18" Wuhan China
    • 19" B8 Rock Crash
    • 6" AA splash
    • 12" Wuhan china
    • 18" B8 Pro Heavy Crash
    • 20" AAX Metal Ride
    • 22" Wuhan China



  1. ^ NTB. (1994, June 29th). Ubetinget fengsel for kirkebrann. (Norwegian) Aftenposten (morning), p. 4.
  2. ^ Fragell, Geir. (1994, June 28th). – Alle kirker skulle brennes. (Norwegian) VG, p. 11.
  3. ^ "Zyklon/Emperor Guitarist Welcomes Addition To Family - May 4, 2008". Retrieved 2 December 2010.

External linksEdit

New title Guitarist for Thou Shalt Suffer
Succeeded by
Drummer for Emperor
Succeeded by
Trym Torson
Vocalist for Ildjarn

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Count Grishnackh
Bassist for Burzum

Succeeded by
Count Grishnackh
Preceded by
Guitarist for Emperor
Preceded by
Bassist for Gorgoroth
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Guitarist for Satyricon
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Bassist for Satyricon
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Steinar Sverd Johnsen
Guitarist for Arcturus
Succeeded by
Knut Magne Valle
New title Guitarist for Zyklon-B
Guitarist for Zyklon
New title Guitarist for Scum
since 2002