Ihsahn (born 1975), born Vegard Sverre Tveitan, is a Norwegian guitar, bass and keyboard player and vocalist. He is best known for his work with Norwegian black metal band Emperor. He played in Peccatum with his wife Ihriel (real name Heidi S. Tveitan) until 2006 and has appeared in Thou Shalt Suffer, Zyklon-B and Hardingrock, and now devotes himself to his solo project, Ihsahn. In very early releases he went by the name Ygg. Born in the town of Notodden Read more on Last.fm

It is quite difficult to review your favorite artist’s albums, however I’ll try to show my appreciation of some great masterpieces (in my opinion) ; my purpose will be getting others to listen to some of my personal favorites and well to suggest their personal likings as well.

Ihsahn is amongst my favorite musical composers, along with Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P), Mikael Åkerfeldt and Cliff Burton (R.I.P). First, I should mention that I always avoided listening to black metal since it just wasn’t my musical taste, but indeed just like many of us, I didn’t pay enough attention to a specific genre simply because of few bands that i did not like and which I thought represented the genre.

That wasn’t the case: Emperor did get my attention, especially Ihsahn himself; I noticed his immense musical knowledge and how he used it into a black metal context, especially when Emperor progressed as a band who wanted to stand out in their own genre. Last year I suddenly stumbled upon an Ihsahn album named The Adversary. I was excited and full of anticipation as I knew the guy wouldn’t have created his own project, playing and composing all the instruments except the drums, unless he was out to express himself as an musician and an individual, perhaps outside of the black metal boundaries for sure (although he still had that edge in his own project, when he felt the song needed that edge). Anyways I’ll talk about this album first, being more recent and well being his second and more ‘tight’ release.

ihsahn

Misanthrope starts the album with solid composition , a bit repetitive though, but still having this raw modern black metal edge with the ever so essential and known drum beat (drummer > Asgeir Mickelson) aided by Ihsahn and his genius manipulation of a guitar’s purpose.

Scarab is another good song in the album, Ihsahn starts to show some aggression in the riffs and slowly introduces the listener to the album’s mood, as this contains a smooth calm part filled with his signature clean vocals.

Unhealer is one of my favorite songs in the album. Mikael from Opeth guests on the song and that alone got the song soaring into higher dimensions of musical existence; Mikael’s clean vocals were perfect and his growl parts / Ihsahn’s screaming voice are also a perfect match of sheer power and strength. Fretless bass (bassist > Lars K. Norberg) adds a lovely feel to the song along with the epic guitar work.

Emancipation has this catchy feel to it, certainly with Ihsahn’s vocals ruling above others, feelings wise, which also applies to the solo, powerful and damn effective in the song’s present mood.

Malediction is a fast one, showing that he still got his black metal roots going on, which isn’t a bad thing since he still managed to slip some classic melodies into it which made it something worth listening to over and over again.

Alchemist is a great song from beginning to end. It is quite weird, but nevertheless an amazing song with an epic chorus, great guitar solos and well memorable vocals from the man himself.

It’s quite clear that the second half of the album is more interesting than the first half; it feels as if it’s another album, having quite different moods and ideas. Alchemist signaled this and the next song Elevator surely proves my point! I loved the smart musical composing, clean vocals and the soul-moving fretless fillings throughout the entire song. EPIC!

Threnody is another favorite of mine; it does show Ihsahn’s unique vocals and musical sense, as he gracefully adds epic calm tunes which hold so much power at the same time. The song shows great progression and doesn’t fail to impress; a true musician he is.

Monolith: Fretless bass. And my heart suddenly softens -:P Indeed I’m a sucker for the fretless, which strangely and magnificently leads to another black metal inspired mood, which is damn epic and most definitively shapes the song into the most interesting one on the album. Amazing song and an amazing end for a classic modern metal record in the 21st century.