Album Releases Album Reviews

Ihsahn – Arktis Review

Released by: Spinefarm Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Prog Black Metal

Links: https://www.facebook.com/ihsahnmusic

 

Tracklist:

01. Disassembled
02. Mass Darkness
03. My Heart Is Of The North
04. South Winds
05. In The Vaul
06. Until I Too Dissolve
07. Pressure
08. Frail
09. Crooked Red Line
10. Celestial Violence

 

The name Ihsahn is well regarded in the metal world. As an integral part of the rise of Black Metal in the band Emperor, he has since gone on to show that he isn’t a one trick pony, in particular through his very eclectic music found on his solo albums. Being a multi-instrumentalist, Ihsahn is able to create music true to what he hears as a creator as opposed to working strictly within the confines of a group.

His sixth solo release Arktis is as wide spread sound wise as any artist can get. Delving into numerous generes across the metal world, as well as incorporating electronic music to the sound, and a perfect mix of his instantly recognizable growls to haunting and beautiful vocals as well, Arktis is a tremendous demonstration of the sheer talent and ability of this man. He thrives on pushing the envelope of what is acceptable in the world of metal, as seen on the track “South Winds” with both vocal styles mentioned, heavily electronic sounds melded with aggressive yet melodic melodies with an underlying orchestral sound. This song alone shows how unique Ihsahn’s music is. Yet there are so many other great tracks here from the album opener “Disassembled” featuring Leprous singer Einar Solberg that is the very definition of progressive somehow managing to bring elements of Black metal with proggy pop moments to “In the Vaults” that is also very progressive, orchestral, with heavy doses of more electronic stylings to the very jazz inflected “Red Crooked Line.”

Arktis offers so many different musical elements that to some it may be confusing and chaotic, but to those who are always looking to push boundaries and dare to try different tastes and soundscapes, you can’t go wrong with the latest offering from the legend Ihsahn. Handling most of the musical duties here with a few guest appearances that simply accentuate his vast talent, Ihsahn is forging sounds that, on the surface, don’t seem to work in the metal world, but he is deftly proving that maybe they should. There is so much going on here that I will definitely make many return trips to Arktis, guaranteeing I will hear something new with each spin.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

 Ratings:  Chris   9/10

 

 

 

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