IHSAHN, one of Norway’s most pioneering musical legends, has today unveiled details of his upcoming studio album, titled Àmr. The nine track long player will be released via Candlelight/Spinefarm on May 4, 2018. Casper had a great chat to him about it:
The first track to be made available from the album is Arcana Imperii, whichfeatures a guitar solo by Opeth’s Fredrik Åkesson. The accompanying music video (created by Richard Oakes of Dark Fable Media) can be seen here.
“As with previous albums, I’ve tried to maintain a certain diversity throughout Àmr, with every track having a somewhat individual identity. So, as a first introduction, I felt Arcana Imperii contained several key elements from the whole album and was a logical choice as first single and video.”
Drawing from a rich pool of influences and utilising a wide range of instruments, IHSAHN has created a dark and brooding masterpiece of an album. Àmr possesses its own unique atmosphere; a palpable sense of tension and unease that infuses even the album’s most melodic moments with heightened drama and otherworldly menace. Although as dark and intense as anything he has conjured before, both the depth of sonic texture and the clarity of his overarching vision are more impressive than ever.
Opting to eschew string arrangements and orchestration in favour of synthesisers, Àmr strides boldly into uncharted territory yet retainsIHSAHN’s signature high level skill and off-the-scale quality. Drenched in evocative synths and brimming with skewed but irresistible riffs, Àmr is both IHSAHN’s most accessible record to date and his most extreme departure from his black metal roots.
Whilst he is something of a musical polymath, IHSAHN was joined on the recording of Àmr by Tobias Ørnes Andersen who provided drums and percussion.
Àmr was recorded at IHSAHN’s own Mnemosyne Studio, except for drum recordings which were done at Sonic Attic Studios. Mixing was handled by Fascination Street Studios, in the capable hands of the talented Linus Corneliusson. Mastering was once again done by Jens Bogren.
True living legends are few and far between, but Ihsahn has long since earned the right to be regarded as one of metal’s all-time greats. As frontman and chief songwriter with legendary Norwegian black metal pioneers Emperor, he swiftly cemented a formidable reputation as one of the underground’s most idiosyncratic creative forces. Classic albums like 1995’s In The Nightside Eclipse and 1997’s epoch-shattering Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk ensured that the young band were among the most respected the most popular of Norway’s many black-hearted exports. Their imperious rise to prominence came to an unexpected end after the release of 2001’s wildly intricate and grandiose Prometheus: The Discipline Of Fire & Demise, but it was an album that suggested that Ihsahn’s compositional journey was far from over.
Reincarnated as a solo artist for 2006’s The Adversary, Ihsahn has spent the last 12 years forging a second path through artistry’s darkest shadows; one that is making more and deeper connections than any of his past endeavours. With a sound that still retains strong links to his black metal roots while embracing everything from skewed art rock and avant-garde jazz to experimental electronica and dark ambient, each successive album has presented a brand new manifestation of the Norwegian’s unique craft: from the muscular and haughty riff sculptures of Angl and After’s haunting, saxophone-driven mirage to the tech-metal explorations of Eremita and on to the wild, avant-metal splurge of Das Seelenbrechen, Ihsahn’s catalogue speaks of a restless creative spirit with ideas to burn.