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Ihsahn – Amr

With all the celebration around the 20th anniversary of Emperor’s magnum opus ‘Anthems of the Welkins at Dusk’ you might almost be forgiven for forgetting that Ihsahn has been running a very successful solo career for more than a decade.

The previous album Arktis. was both a creative highlight as well as a summation of all that had come before, from eighties hard rock anthems to an unabashed return to the days of Prometheus. With Ihsahn you can always expect the unexpected: the opening track on Amr stands testament to that. The inaugural burst of hard electronic beats that kick off the record even has me double checking whether I didn’t accidentally put on the new Suicide Commando instead. Arcana Imperii, for which they’ve also made a video, is somewhat more familiar avant metal fare with a stellar solo from Opeth’s Fredrik Akesson.

Samr in its turn could almost be called a ballad, whereas One Less Enemy recalls the early days of Norwegian black with a menacingly pulsing Thorns-like riff. In Rites of Passage then couples industrial overtones with old synths. Twin Black Angels could almost be a Zombi or Goblin track with its eerie ‘Stranger Things’-style intro until it transforms itself over the chorus in a bonafide singalong pop anthem worthy of Eurovision. Finally, closer Wake is about as complete a textbook Ihsahn composition as you’re likely to find. As a bonus track you’ll find Alone to be a brooding slow burner that has this cinematic Bond-style piano theme running through it. Although  Amr is once again a genre defying album, it’s also Vegard’s most accessible work to date.

Release date: May 4th, 2018
Label: Candlelight/ Spinefarm
Tracklist:
1. Lend Me the Eyes of the Millenia
2. Arcana imperii
3. Samr
4. One Less Enemy
5. Where You are Lost and I Belong
6. In Rites of Passage
7. Marble Souls
8. Twin Black Angels
9. Wake
10. Alone (bonus track)

Reviews

  • Music9
  • Lyrics/Vocals9
  • Production/Mix9
  • Artwork/Packaging9
  • Originality9
  • 9

    Score

    Although ‘Amr’ is once again a genre defying album, it’s also Vegard’s most accessible work to date.