After

Ihsahn – Arktis. Review

Ihsahn – Arktis. Review

Ihsahn is always in motion. Following a storied career in one of the premier black metal bands of all time, he’s released five full-length albums. Nearly all of those records have been critically acclaimed, but only one has been critically acclaimed by me. While I enjoyed The Adversary, Ihsahn‘s post-Emperor zenith was angL. Starting with After, however, Ihsahn started to lose me. What made his earlier material so good—riffs, riffs, more riffs, and slick composition (also riffs)—began to be replaced by increasingly abstract compositions. And when songs like “Scarab” started getting replaced with tracks like “M,” I stopped enjoying new Ihsahn albums. Yet Arktis. marks the next phase for Ihsahn, having finally left the Nihilists behind him.” Praise Zarathustra!

Ihsahn – Das Seelenbrechen Review

Ihsahn – Das Seelenbrechen Review

Ihsahn records used to get a breathless introduction about how incredible the former Emperor frontman’s solo career was. While this might still be true for some breathless fans, it is not the case for me. While I am still a huge fan of The Adversary and angL, both Eremita and its predecessor After left me cold.” Das seelenbrechen is Ihsahn‘s newest crack at a solo record. Will it leave this Angry Metal Guy as cold as the man’s last two records?

Raventale – Bringer of Heartsore Review

Raventale – Bringer of Heartsore Review

Ukrainian black metal? With doom and viking elements? By a one man band? Sounds good to me! While Steel Druhm must sheepishly admit to being late to the Raventale party, now that I’m here, I’m a happy fucking camper indeed. That’s because one Astaroth Merc has single-handedly spewed out a very entertaining and enjoyable platter of contemplative, brooding, atmospheric and doomy black metal on his fifth album, Bringer of Heartsore. So good is the material here, I’m willing to overlook that awful, AWFUL album title (plus, I’m assuming English is like his fifth language so mistakes will be made). So what will a listener be treated to on a Raventale album? A composite of Moonsorrow, Helrunar and SIG:AR:TYR (minus the folk acoustics). That means big, sweeping musical pieces, alternatively epic, melancholy and brutal. Sometimes hollow like a dark, empty void, other times ice-cold like Nordic winters, Astaroth weaves many a mood over this relatively short but sweet blackened sojourn. I find myself impressed enough to begin immediate excavation of their back catalog for more rich doomy, blackened goodness. To decide if you might feel the same, read all the fine words below, in order.

Ihsahn – After Review

Ihsahn – After Review

Easily one of the most anticipated records of 2010 for me has been Ihsahn’s new offering. While I was a passing Emperor fan, really just a fan of In the Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk-era, I was taken by Ihsahn’s solo stuff. The Adversary felt fresh, progressive enough, a step away from the later Emperor material of which I wasn’t a fan, and it captured the sonic styles and textures that he was never quite allowed to explore while in Emperor. The record didn’t stick with me as I had hoped, while I listened to it occasionally it didn’t hold a steadfast position in my discography. On the other hand, angL blew me away. Probably the finest record of 2008, angL has maintained a steady place in the rotation and is a record that I’ve showed to dozens of people. Perfectly produced, perfectly composed and smartly written, angL contained everything that I wanted out of a new progressive metal record. So, of course, when I heard that Ihsahn would be releasing a new record in 2010, I became justifiably excited.

Ahhh!!!

Ahhh!!!

October is going to be a very good month! Why is that? Because not only do we get a new record from Hypocrisy as already mentioned but Ihsahn, the very excellent ex-front man from black metal legends Emperor (as if you didn’t know that) is going to be releasing his own new record! Color me fucking stoked! I hadn’t expected that at all! Anyway, let’s hope it lives up to angL, which was easily my favorite album from 2008. Now if only Candlelight would add me to their promo list so that I can get a copy and do an interview with the genius himself!! Mark down October 19th on your calenders, I know I will.