Saturday, April 13, 2024

Ihsahn: A self-titled masterpiece

The self-titled album is typically indicative of introduction or reinvention. Since his days in Emperor and his near flawless solo career Ihsahn is no stranger to reinvention and requires no introduction. 

The latest offering from the Norwegian extreme metal legend sees more of an emphasis on symphonic elements, so much so that the album comes with a complete Orchestral version that packs just as much of a punch. The whole record is perfect background music for the most intense of Dark Souls boss battles and it shifts and changes with just as much unpredictable frequency as those battles. 

‘The Promethean Spark’ works as a raging metal track that burns with all the intensity you’d expect but the symphonic elements give it that dire sense of urgency to push it through to a level of darkness and unease. The black metal elements are on display in full force on tracks like ‘Pilgrimage To Oblivion’ with its classic iconic black metal tremolo picking which contrasts amazingly with the orchestra and gives the listener this sense of impending apocalypse. 

Despite being forged in pure darkness there are still some beautiful moments of awe-inspiring beautiful light on tracks like ‘Anima Extranae’ and ‘The Distance Between Us’ which feels more like an Opeth track than anything else on the record. Ihsahn’s clean vocals contrast beautifully with his harsh vocals in a similar way to Mikael Akerfeldt and the instrumentals compliment them beautifully. 

The grand finale is entitled ‘At the Heart of All Things Broken’ and it is absolutely stunning. The entire spectrum of human emotion is represented and satiated throughout its colossal 9-minute run time. Ihsahn’s clean vocals are glorious and the opening dulcet guitar work provides this futile and ominous glimmer of hope before descending into a harsh and fiery depth complete with anthemic drumming and guitar work. The whole track feels like what you would hear entering the gates of hell as you read the words “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that an Ihsahn record is a unique masterpiece, the man has done nothing but carefully craft beautiful works of art that transcend the genre and go on to become masterworks in the great pantheon of music. It makes sense that he grew beyond Emperor but pieces of it remain in this new record and that should excite anyone anxiously waiting for this glorious entry in his already incredible back catalogue. 

Ihsahn is available February 16th 2024 via Candlelight Records. 

Lamestream Lydia
Lamestream Lydia
Self-proclaimed journalist, Progressive rock enthusiast and the most American sounding person you're ever likely to meet in the North of England

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

eighteen − three =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RAMzine is proud to support The Mike James Rock Show!

Latest Articles

The self-titled album is typically indicative of introduction or reinvention. Since his days in Emperor and his near flawless solo career Ihsahn is no stranger to reinvention and requires no introduction.  The latest offering from the Norwegian extreme metal legend sees more of an emphasis...Ihsahn: A self-titled masterpiece