ICS Vortex, former DIMMU BORGIR and current BORKNAGAR and ARCTURUS member, has announced that his debut solo album, Storm Seeker, will be released on August 22nd, 2011 in Europe and August 23rd, 2011 in North America via Century Media Records.
The arrival of a new IHSAHN invokes curiosity and anticipation as this metal god never fails to stimulate. After concludes the trilogy of IHSAHN albums released to date. To put it in general terms, the album is more like its predecessor AngL than The Adversary. Those, now, trademark cerebral, progressive black metal stylings in the IHSAHN-style are a major characteristic of After’s sound in addition to his complex and interesting song structures. And of course the decadent atmospheres and top notch musicianship, including Ihsahn’s first attempt at 8-string guitar, are all over After.
The most distinctive addition to Ihsahn’s sound is the addition of the fantastic saxophone work of SHINING’s Jorgen Munkeby on many of the album’s tracks. While the marriage of saxophones and black metal may seem like an awkward or bizarre combination, it works.
As with every IHSAHN album, you just get the overall feeling that most other metal bands are simply outclassed and outperformed in comparison. “A Grave Inversed” is a decadent and classic IHSAHN black metal track with all of its blasting fury and twists and turns, and yet Munkeby’s jazz saxophone seamlessly adds character. The excellent “Frozen Lakes on Mars” easily nullifies most bands’ entire back catalogues with its prime riffs. “Undercurrent,” features Ihsahn’s soothing clean vocals, acoustic guitars, and melancholic tone, all topped off with some very nice saxophone leads that only bleeds out the melancholy further. “Austere” explores new territory with its more minimalistic, simplified approach and tasty bass leads from Lars Norberg. The trilogy of albums ends in grand fashion with another big album closer in the form of “On the Shores.” The main riff is a crawling, dark behemoth which personifies most of Ihsahn’s post EMPEROR albums.
While After is not a landmark album, it is still an interesting and high class work. In a lot of ways, it is a culmination of the three album trilogy in which we see Ihsahn improving and elaborating on themes, sounds, and approaches that we started on his first two albums. Without a doubt, After is mandatory listening. (Candlelight Records/Mnemosyne Productions)
Candlelight Records today confirms May 27 as the American release date for strong>angL, the second solo album from former EMPEROR vocalist/guitarist Ihsahn. The album features nine new songs all written and performed by the highly respected musician. The album features guest performances by drummer Asgeir Mickelson, bassist Lars Koppang Norberg (both of the band SPIRAL ARCHITECT) and Mikael Akerfeldt (OPETH).
Recorded and mixed by Ihsahn at Symphonique Studios in Notodden, Norway (the studio owned by Ihsahn and partner Heidi Tveitan), additional work was completed by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios and Borge Finnstad at Toproom Studios. Commenting about the recordâ€™s musical collaborations, â€œAsgeir (Mickelson) did such a great job on my last album (The Adversary, Candlelight 2006), that while in preproduction for angL I programmed a much more generic drum track to leave more creative license for him. It was on Asgeirâ€™s recommendation that Lars (Koppang Norberg) contribute to the album. They both recorded at Asgeirâ€™s studio (Multimono Studios) and it came together nicely.â€
Working with Mikael Akerfeldt, â€œMikael and I go back as friends since the early nineties. We met up when EMPEROR headlined Wacken in 2006 and had a great time watching bands together. We talked then about doing something together at some point and in spite of busy schedules on both sides this luckily came to happen. Rough mixes of â€œUnhealerâ€ with lyrics were sent to Mikael with the idea for both clean and growl vocals. He worked on it during his off-time recording the new OPETH album. I could not be any happier with the results.â€
Writing for angL began early in 2007 and picked up momentum after the EMPEROR US performances early last summer. â€œI knew to a greater extent where I wanted to go with this album, though I feel all albums are a kind of struggle to overcome. Regardless of how many you make, it never gets any easier.â€ An aggressive schedule to complete the album, in addition to recording projects for HARDINGROCK (in which Ihsahn also contributes) and STAROFASH (released February 26), Ihsahn completed album tracking in early December. With mixing and mastering completed early this year, the musician is already starting promotion with for the album; efforts that will take up much of his time over the coming months leading up to album release.
Track listing for angL (not in running order) is: â€œAlchemist,â€ â€œElevator,â€ â€œMalediction,â€ â€œMisanthrope,â€ â€œMonolith,â€ â€œMorningstar,â€ â€œScarab,â€ â€œThrenodyâ€ and â€œUnhealer.â€