Ihsahn // Ihsahn // Album Review


I’d like to think that there is no need to introduce Ihsahn to you all, but just to be on the safe side – briefly, he is the founding member of Emperor and if you are unsure who they are then please educate yourself!

Having been creating extreme music for decades, Ihsahn took to the world of solo albums to express the more creative side of his genius and starting with the release of The Adversary in 2006 – he has never made anything alike as the juices flow and the brilliant mind wanders wherever it fancies in its quest to express.

Accepting that the core of the music created by Ihsahn is Black Metal, being solo allows the influences of other genres to be unleashed and be prepared to experience aspects of Prog, Symphonic and Experimental as you delve down this rabbit hole to a world that feels very alien but works incredibly well.

From the off, there is a feeling that the combinations and styles being utilised shouldn’t work and the unease of how it does in a bizarre and almost awkward way is as impressive as the music. If anyone could make them work though it is Ihsahn and not just make it make it work but make it exciting, intriguing and uncomfortable is a testament to the composing talent.

Some of the tracks on this album may make you wonder whether Ihsahn still has that Blackened edge as we experience the ‘softer side’ of things. Yet, you always know that the root of the music is firmly planted in Black Metal. The regular drone of the guitar pays homage to this and that recognisable vocal occasionally wanders back to that Black Metal sound.

Tracks like ‘Twice Born’ will have you celebrating those Emperor sounds but also will lead to some finding that legendary band whilst ‘The Distance Between Us’ explores the full Blackened Prog (if that is a thing) sound that Ihsahn appears to have been able to create.

You may be forgiven to notice on first listen that this is a concept album, however the full narrative is unknown other than the narrative being around Wagnerian narratives around the hero’s journey. Oh also, whilst mentioning forgiveness, I haven’t mentioned that this is a double album with orchestral versions of the tracks and if you thought that the original tracks took you to some unknown places – turn off all the lights and play these even louder and be prepared to venture into the unknown as they take on a whole new persona.

Ihsahn shows yet again what a brilliant and creative mind he has and more than that – the intellect to put the thought into stunning music sets him apart. Ihsahn is a stunning album and has to be an early contender for album of the year.


Ihsahn will be released Friday 16th February via Candlelight Records.


Review: Ed Ford


About Ihsahn

Since 1991 Ihsahn has defied expectations and pushed boundaries. More than any other artist to emerge from the fertile black metal scene of the early ‘90s, Ihsahn has firmly established himself as an unpredictable maverick. As the founding frontman of Emperorhe is universally lauded as one of extreme music’s most important and influential voices, and he stands as the figurehead for what was arguably black metal’s creative apex. What is even more important to note is that as a solo artist Ihsahn has all but outgrown the confines of that achievement, and over the course of seven records he has forged a sterling reputation for innovation and unabashed originality that’s as genre-bending as it is gleefully indifferent to the weight of expectation. Starting with the release of 2006’s critically acclaimed The Adversary he has never made the same record twice, and it is that resistance to a templated approach that has become the cornerstone of his gloriously creative second act.

Ihsahn Tracklisting

1: Cervus Venator
2: The Promethean Spark
3: Pilgrimage To Oblivion
4: Twice Born
5: A Taste Of The Ambrosia
6: Anima Extraneae
7: Blood Trails To Love
8: Hubris And Blue Devils
9: The Distance Between Us
10: At The Heart Of All Things Broken
11: Sonata Profana

Ihsahn Orchestral Tracklisting

1: Cervus Venator Orchestral
2: The Promethean Spark Orchestral
3: Pilgrimage To Oblivion Orchestral
4: Twice Born Orchestral
5: A Taste Of The Ambrosia Orchestral
6: Anima Extraneae Orchestral
7: Blood Trails To Love Orchestral
8: Hubris And Blue Devils Orchestral
9: The Distance Between Us Orchestral
10: At The Heart Of All Things Broken Orchestral
11: Sonata Profana Orchestral

IHSAHN online:

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