Ihsahn is set to make a return to the music scene with his latest release, the ‘Fascination Street Sessions’ EP. The highly anticipated EP will be released via Candlelight Records on March 24th, 2023.
Ihsahn is a Norwegian musician and singer-songwriter best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist for the black metal band Emperor. He established himself as a talented musician and songwriter throughout his decade-long career with Emperor. He has continued to push the boundaries of the black metal genre with his solo work.
He is also the founder of Peccatum, a duo he previously formed with his wife Ihriel, and the frontman of his own solo project. Ihsahn, who was born Vegard Sverre Tveitan on February 25, 1975, in Notodden, Norway, is universally perceived as one of the most influential figures in the black metal genre, known for his distinct vocal style and innovative musical arrangements.
In early 1991, Ihsahn rose to prominence as a member of the legendary black metal band Emperor. The band was known for their groundbreaking fusion of traditional black metal with progressive elements, as well as Ihsahn’s distinct vocal style, which ranged from ferocious growls to clean operatic singing over the course of their decade-long career. The band’s innovative music and dynamic live performances earned them a devoted fan base and paved the way for black metal as a major genre in the metal music scene.
After Emperor disbanded in 2001, Ihsahn continued to make music as a solo artist, releasing several highly acclaimed albums that have expanded the boundaries of the black metal genre and explored new avenues of artistic expression, even thus Emperor reunited from 2005 to 2007 for a few festival dates and brief North American tours, to then reunited again in 2013 to 2014, and currently reformed for the third time in 2016. Throughout his career, Ihsahn has been known for his intricate songwriting, bold musical arrangements, and powerful vocals. He has been widely praised by fans and critics alike for his contributions to the world of heavy metal music.
Ihsahn is known for his extensive discography, which encompasses a wide range of solo albums, collaborations, and other musical projects, in particular with respect to his groundbreaking contributions to the black metal genre.
Speaking about his solo discography, ‘The Adversary,’ released by Candlelight Records on April 10, 2006, is Ihsahn’s first solo album. Ihsahn’s debut solo album was highly anticipated by fans and critics alike as the former lead vocalist and guitarist of the legendary black metal band Emperor, and it did not disappoint.
Ihsahn demonstrates his mastery of the black metal genre throughout the album, incorporating progressive metal, avant-garde, and classical music elements into his unique musical vision. ‘The Adversary’ showcases Ihsahn’s musical versatility and adaptability as an artist, from the intricate guitar riffs and sweeping keyboard arrangements to the powerful vocals and dynamic musical structures.
One of the most notable aspects of ‘The Adversary’ is Ihsahn’s incorporation of clean singing, which he uses to great effect to bring a new level of emotional intensity to his music. Whether soaring above the powerful riffs and intricate arrangements or contrasting with the abrasive growls and screams, his clean vocals provide a powerful counterpoint to the aggressive energy of the music, adding an unexpected dimension to the traditional black metal sound.
‘The Adversary’ is a triumph of black metal and progressive music, showcasing Ihsahn’s unparalleled musical talent and vision. The album’s intricate arrangements, powerful vocals, and dynamic musical structures make it a standout in the black metal genre and a must-listen for fans of extreme metal music.
It also features a guest vocal appearance by Ulver’s Garm. Whether viewed as a continuation of Ihsahn’s work with Emperor or as a bold new chapter in his musical career, ‘The Adversary’ is a testament to Ihsahn’s enduring influence and impact on the world of heavy metal music.
‘angL’ is Ihsahn’s second solo album, released by Candlelight Records on May 26th, 2008. As a follow-up to his widely praised debut album ‘The Adversary,’ ‘angL’ cemented Ihsahn’s reputation as one of the most innovative and forward-thinking black metal artists.
The song ‘Unhealer’ on Ihsahn’s release ‘angL’ features the prominent vocal participation of Mikael Åkerfeldt from the Swedish act Opeth. Mikael Åkerfeldt’s vocal participation in ‘Unhealer’ is a key component of the song’s success and showcases his versatility as a vocalist in the metal genre.
Throughout the album, Ihsahn continues to push the boundaries of black metal, incorporating elements of progressive rock, jazz, and classical music into his musical vision. The result is a complex and layered musical landscape that is both challenging and rewarding for listeners.
Candlelight Records released ‘After,’ his third solo album, on January 26th, 2010. Building on the success of his previous albums ‘The Adversary’ and ‘angL,’ Ihsahn’s musical career took a new turn with ‘After,’ as he continued to push the boundaries of the black metal genre.
‘Eremita’ is the fourth solo album, released on June 18th, 2012, by Candlelight Records. On ‘Eremita,’ Ihsahn continues to expand his musical vision, incorporating new elements and taking his sound in bold new directions. Several notable musicians, including Devin Townsend and Jeff Loomis of Nevermore, make a guest appearance on the album.
One of the key features of ‘Eremita’ is the integration of jazz and progressive rock influences into the black metal sound. Ihsahn’s guitar work is particularly noteworthy, as he employs intricate and imaginative riffs to create a sound that is both aggressive and innovative.
In addition to his musical prowess, Ihsahn’s vocal performance on ‘Eremita’ is particularly noteworthy. His use of clean singing and harsh screams creates a dynamic and powerful contrast, adding depth and emotion to the music. This is especially evident on tracks like ‘Arrival’ and ‘The Eagle and the Snake,’ which showcase Ihsahn’s vocal range and ability to convey meaning through his delivery.
‘Eremita’ is a continuation of Ihsahn’s groundbreaking work in the black metal genre. The album’s intricate arrangements, powerful vocals, and innovative musical vision make it a standout in the discography of one of extreme metal’s most influential figures. Whether viewed as a standalone work or as part of Ihsahn’s larger body of music, ‘Eremita’ is a must-listen for fans of heavy metal and progressive music.
Devin Townsend made another guest appearance in ‘Eremita,’ while Ihsahn previously appeared on Townsend’s album ‘Deconstruction.’
‘Das Seelenbrechen’ is the fifth solo album, released on October 21st, 2013, by Candlelight Records. This album represents a departure from Ihsahn’s previous works, as he explores new musical territory and experiments with unconventional song structures and instrumentation.
The album is notable for its incorporation of avant-garde and experimental elements into the black metal sound. From the use of unconventional time signatures and dissonant guitar work to the incorporation of jazz and electronic elements, Ihsahn pushes the boundaries of the genre in new and exciting ways. The album’s track, ‘Sub Äter,’ is a particularly strong example of this, as it features a complex arrangement that showcases Ihsahn’s musical creativity and vision.
In addition to the innovative musical elements, Ihsahn’s vocal performance on ‘Das Seelenbrechen’ is noteworthy. He employs a range of techniques, from harsh screams to melodic singing, to create a dynamic and emotionally charged performance. This is particularly evident on tracks like ‘Regen’ and ‘Tacit 2,’ where Ihsahn’s vocal delivery adds depth and intensity to the music.
‘Das Seelenbrechen’ is a bold and innovative album that showcases Ihsahn’s continued musical growth and development. The album’s unconventional musical structures, avant-garde elements, and powerful vocal performance make it a standout in the black metal genre and a must-listen for fans of progressive and experimental music. Whether viewed as a departure from Ihsahn’s previous works or as a continuation of his groundbreaking musical vision, ‘Das Seelenbrechen’ is a testament to Ihsahn’s artistic creativity and enduring impact on the progressive metal field.
‘Arktis.’ is the sixth solo album, released on April 22nd, 2016, by Candlelight Records. On ‘Arktis.’ Ihsahn continues to push the boundaries of black metal, incorporating progressive rock and electronic music elements into his sound.
One of the standout features of ‘Arktis.’ is the album’s use of electronic elements, mainly synths and drum machines, which are integrated seamlessly into the black metal sound. This creates a unique and modern soundscape, highlighted by tracks like ‘South Winds’ and ‘Crooked Red Line.’ The album’s progressive rock influences are also evident, particularly in the use of complex song structures and instrumental passages that showcase Ihsahn’s musical prowess.
In addition to its innovative musical elements, ‘Arktis.’ is notable for its themes and lyrics. The album’s concept is centered around the idea of a dystopian future, and the songs explore themes of loss, hope, and the human spirit. Ihsahn’s lyrics are introspective and thought-provoking, and they add an emotional depth to the music that is both moving and powerful.
‘Arktis.’ is a continuation of Ihsahn’s groundbreaking work in the black metal genre. The album’s innovative use of electronic elements, progressive rock influences, and powerful themes make it a standout in Ihsahn’s discography. Whether viewed as a departure from Ihsahn’s previous works or as a continuation of his musical vision, ‘Arktis.’ is a must-listen for fans of heavy metal and progressive music.
‘Ámr’ is the eighth and his latest solo album, released on May 4th, 2018, by Candlelight Records. This album marks a continuation of Ihsahn’s exploration of new musical territory, as he incorporates elements of jazz, avant-garde, and electronic music into his black metal sound.
One of the standout features of ‘Ámr’ is Ihsahn’s use of saxophone and keyboard solos, which add a new dimension to the album’s sound. Tracks like ‘Lend Me the Eyes of the Millenia’ and ‘Arcana Imperii’ showcase the album’s jazz influences, while songs like ‘Wake’ and ‘Twin Black Angels’ feature electronic elements that add depth and texture to the music.
In addition to its innovative musical elements, ‘Ámr’ is notable for its vocal performance. Ihsahn’s vocal delivery is particularly dynamic on this album, as he employs a range of techniques, from harsh screams to clean singing, to create a powerful and emotionally charged performance. This is particularly evident on tracks like ‘Wake’ and ‘Sámr,’ where Ihsahn’s vocal delivery adds intensity and depth to the music.
Recently, Ihsahn, who is known for his collaboration and passion for production, has joined forces with the online educational program for music production at the URM Academy and producer/engineer Jens Bogren of Fascination Street Studios, to create this three-track EP, the ‘Fascination Street Sessions’ is due to be released on March 24th, 2023, via Candlelight Records, featuring two new original songs and one cover version, showcasing Ihsahn’s innovative and eclectic musical style.
The recording process for the ‘Fascination Street Sessions’ was a collaborative effort between Ihsahn, his long-time drummer Tobias Ørnes Andersen, and keyboardist Øystein Aadland. The three spent ten intense days at Fascination Street Studios recording the songs. Aadland provides warm and gentle lead vocals for the track ‘The Observer.’ At the same time, Jonas Renske of Katatonia lent his voice to the cover of the song ‘Dom Andra,’ originally by the Swedish band Kent.
Candlelight Records has already unveiled the video for the first track on the EP, ‘Contorted Monuments.’ Fans of Ihsahn and his unique style of music production are eagerly awaiting the release of the ‘Fascination Street Sessions’ and are sure to be impressed with what the talented musician has in store.
Ihsahn’s solo career has been marked by a constant drive to explore new musical territory and challenge both himself and his listeners. Each of his solo albums represents a step forward in his musical journey and a continuation of his mission to push the boundaries of the black metal genre.
Whether you are a fan of black metal, progressive metal, or heavy music in general, there is no denying the impact and influence that Ihsahn has had on the world of metal. From his early work with Emperor to his groundbreaking solo albums, Ihsahn has proven time and time again that he is a true master of his craft and one of the most important figures in the world of heavy metal music.