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Ihsahn - Telemark Award winner

Ihsahn
Telemark
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 09 January 2020, 1:04 AM

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. Frontman and chief composer with the legendary EMPEROR, he re-wrote the rule book on epic extreme music across a series of albums that are still widely regarded as classics. Since that debut’s explosive arrival, IHSAHN has forged fearlessly ahead, conjuring an extraordinary catalogue of ground-breaking solo albums along the way. Strong roots in extreme metal have remained an integral part of his ever-evolving sound. In 2019, IHSAHN is poised to take yet another left-turn into unfamiliar territory, with the first of two five-track EPs inspired by and dedicated to his home county of “Telemark,” which contains five tracks.

“Strigid” leads off the album. It opens with dark tones and an air of mystery. That classic IHSAHN sound is there, with heavy riff accents and his signature vocals. Some more melancholy tones come into play and then that darkness seeps back in, sharp and confrontational. “Nord” opens with a smoother sound and a mid-temp pace. The clean vocals are so buttery here and cut against the harsh vocals, creating a juxtaposition of sound that is easy on the ears, but still retains that edge that you get with his music. Some light symphonic elements come into play as well.

“Telemark” is over seven-minutes in length, and opens with an unexpected riff. That’s one of the main features of his music…you can get everything from the fiercest Black Metal to 80’s sounding Metal and everything in between. The riff takes some odd turns, and you really have to be on your feet to follow it. “Rock and Roll is Dead” opens with an 80’s style riff and some swing in the instruments. “Oh, yeah” he croons…a Lenny Kravitz cover with of course his own twisted style. The trumpets are an interesting addition. “Wrathchild” is of course an infamous IRON MAIDEN song from the “Killers” album. It pays an ode to the original version but again with his own signature twist. The trumpets in the chorus give it a full sound, and he echoes the Dave Murray guitar solo perfectly.

Overall, if you’re a fan of IHSAHN’s work, you will be pleased with this short EP. If you’re not familiar with him, now’s the time to jump on board. His three original tracks here are classic IHSAHN…that odd but pleasing mix of Black Metal with tons of other influences that some shining through. He continues to be a one-of-a-kind songwriter that pushes the envelope when it comes to extreme music. I want more however!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Stridig
2. Nord
3. Telemark
4. Rock and Roll is Dead
5. Wrathchild
Lineup:
Ihsahn – Everything
Record Label: Spinefarm Records
     


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Edited 21 January 2020
 

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