The following interview with Ihsahn was conducted and gracefully provided by MetalGeorge for Examiner.com, as the site’s Cape Cod Rock Music Examiner (original article).
Having first acquired a copy of After-the third solo effort from former EMPEROR frontman Ihsahn-in late 2009, it was clear from the get-go that this truly was going to be the first great album of 2010. Time has proven this initial analysis correct, as After survives further investigation in spades, spreading the wealth of its expansive songwriting and proving-beyond a shadow of doubt-that Ihsahn has certifiably arrived as a solo artist. Notoriously perfectionist in his regard for art and music, Ihsahn spoke to Cape Cod Rock and shed a little light into exactly what sort of thoughts drive this creative, driven mind to unleash sounds beyond the oft-limiting parameters of the black metal spectrum.
Heidi Tveitan (Ihriel) is busy working on a new STAROFASH album, currently carrying the title Lakhesis. The album is planned for a release early next year. Tveitan posted a short update describing the new material:
“I am approximately half way there in the song-writing process, and quite happy with the direction it is taking. Musically this album will be more up-beat and rock oriented than before, and also more vocal driven. I spent more time on the compositional stage, exploring different compositional techniques and forms. All material is written on piano, pen and paper to focus fully on the actual song rather than production.”
STAROFASH‘s last release was a special release via her label, Mnemosyne Productions, for the soundtrack to the Irish film, Ulterior, which came out earlier this year.
Becoming an unquestionable underground legend as a member of EMPEROR in your teens can be a hard act to follow. However, Ihsahn has taken on the task of continuing his musical legacy with his solo albums in addition to his work in PECCATUM and HARDINGROCK. Armed with the strong artistic vision he is known for, his new solo album, angL, is a further exploration of new sounds and places for Ihsahn. One of metal’s most relevant and potent artists shared his thoughts about his artistic vision, Rob Halford, and the challenge of continuing his musical legacy.
STAROFASH (formerly STAR OF ASH) dropped a surprisingly delicious debut album in 2001’s Iter.Viator. Curiously, one wondered if the group, spearheaded by Ihriel (PECCATUM, HARDINGROCK, and wife of EMPEROR‘s Ihsahn), could follow-up with equal creative magic. With The Thread, STAROFASH may not have matched Iter.Viator‘s spontaneous excellence, but does succeed with equally unique musical styling and pleasing consistency. The Thread‘s dark, avant-garde, gothic rock is a slight departure from Iter.Viator, which was more heavily dressed with electronic influences. This time around, STAROFASH‘s sound is more organic provided by a more prominent bass guitar, less programmed sounding percussion, and even brass, woodwind, and stringed instruments (perhaps a HARDINGROCK influence). The music primarily revolves around Ihriel‘s simple and melodic piano and keyboard work. Her voice, still breathy and delicate, finely contributes to the post-metal, gothic overtones. Though her singing style is relatively singular, her vocal presence is just enough and never is overdone. Ihriel is also joined by vocal talent, Garm (Kristoffer G. Rygg) of ULVER/HEAD CONTROL SYSTEM, who lends very magnificent vocal melodies on “Blood Bones and Skull” and “Crossing Over.” In fact, the vocal patterns on “Crossing Over” by both Ihriel and Garm are incredibly strong and memorable, let’s hope this isn’t the last collaboration between the two. All around, The Thread is a fantastic soundtrack that may not immediately strike within, but certainly grows with lasting effectiveness. No doubt, the world needs to expose themselves to the uniqueness that is STAROFASH. (Candlelight/Mnemosyne)