ihsahn 2024 album

Ihsahn – Ihsahn (Album Review)

ihsahn 2024

The name Ihsahn is one that is synonymous with Symphonic Black Metal. One of the key founders of Norway’s highly influential Black Metal band Emperor, his time with them was extraordinary, however, his work outside the band is what truly makes him even more fascinating.  Pushing the boundaries of Metal music, Ihsahn showcased a wide pallet with the formation of extremely avant-garde stylings of Peccatum, but also the unconventional Thou Shalt Suffer. Projects which enriched the curiosity of those fascinated with Ihsahn’s musical approach, ultimately, it has been his solo work that has extended furthest.

Releasing material under his own name since 2006’s The Adversary, what has followed is one difficult to define album after another all the way through to 2018’s Ámr. Always evolving, now in 2024 he returns with his highly anticipated new self-titled album on February 16, 2024 through Candlelight Records. Ihsahn’s eighth solo studio album, it somehow feels as if each of his personalities shines through in a very coherent fashion better than ever before. Grounded in Black Metal by nature, the album takes bits and pieces of everything he has done in the past (symphonic and progressive), melding them into something that overtly stunning musically. Perhaps more simplified in some regards than other material he has more recently done, Ihsahn’s approach results in an album which flows effortlessly like an unobstructed stream.

Steady, one of the key elements that should be discussed as well with this album is the cinematic nature of these songs. As mentioned, rooted in a structure of Black Metal, and presented relatively straight forward, the injection of various other elements (such as keyboards and violin), lend themselves to a classic Horror film-like sensation. Painting more vivid imagery, there are moments of drama, impending doom and uncertainty, but also exhilarating around each corner.

With a lot bold sections in between the eleven songs, the most climaxing in this saga would have to be “Pilgrimage To Oblivion,” “Hubris And Blue Devils,” which sound like the inner working of near insanity, but also “Twice Born,” and the more direct “The Promethean Spark.” This is while others like “The Distance Between Us” is heavily emotional, and “At The Heart Of All Things Broken” could be one of the most stunning tracks ever recorded by Ihsahn.

Overall, this is an album that is more of an experience than one that should be explained verbatim; because it is truly a theatrical movement, just without actors. Speaking of, the album is actually set to be offered both as the Metal edition (with vocals/lyrics), but also as an orchestral edition, and this could never be more fitting. So, show up early for the feature presentation of Ihsahn, but stay second act… both are exceptional in their own right. That is why Cryptic Rock gives this latest work 4.5 out of 5 stars.

ihsahn 2024 album
Ihsahn – Ihsahn / Candlelight Records (2024)

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