Released by: Candlelight/Spinefarm
Release Date: May 4th, 2018
Genre: Death Metal
01-Lend Me The Eyes Of The Millenia
04-One Less Enemy
05-Where You Are Lost And I Belong
06-In Rites Of Passage
08-Twin Black Angels
Ihsahn always has, and always will be, an innovative genius in the metal world. From his time in the legendary Black Metal act Emperor to a brilliant solo career, he has utilized every cliché in the book to avoid being cliché. What I mean is, his sound, during his solo career, is so outside of the box, so brilliantly unique, that you wait to see what he has in store for the next one. He is certainly one of the few artists out there capable of keeping his fans on his toes. You never know exactly what to expect from him, and that is what makes him such a captivating musician. That intrigue is one of the main reasons why I have been a fan of his so long. 2016’s Arktis was such a brilliant masterpiece, and now with ‘Amr I was anxious to see if he managed to top himself.
‘Amr comes so close, but it such an expansive album that it’s going to take more spins than I have given it to determine its ranking in such a stellar catalog (one of the pitfalls of reviewing music,) but suffice it to say it’s simply stunning. His ability to go from such grim brutality to lush melodicism is his genius, and his ability to craft songs that are artful and progressive, but cerebral and emotional at the same time. Blending his Black Metal roots with his love of 80’s metal, he manages to take dark brutality and make it accessible (I know that’s a word the heavier fans don’t want to hear but deal with it.) It doesn’t lessen the intensity one bit. I liken his style to that have Devin Townsend, in that neither man is afraid of going from one extreme to another. However, unlike Townsend on occasion, I doubt you’ll hear much in the way of lush ballads from Ihsahn. Tracks like “Sámr,” “In the Rites of Passage,” and “Twin Black Angels” covers so many divergent styles, yet stays wholly as himself. Few of his contemporaries are capable of this.
Isahn’s ‘Amr is yet another piece of art that we the fans are lucky to be able to share it. His talents as a musician, singer, and writer are certainly etched in the world of Metal Hall of Fame. Isahn’s continued ability to surpass his previous releases, or at the very least equal them, it’s truly a gift. To be able to experience a musician of this magnitude is a sublime privilege I am honored to have bestowed upon me.
Score: 9 out of 10
Reviewed by Chris Martin