Ihsahn - Das Seelenbrechen
Candlelight Records - October 22nd 2013
By Jason Wick
If you’re reading this, chances are you need no introduction to who Ihsahn
is. The legendary voice of the band Emperor
has been releasing solo material since 2006, pushing in more of a progressive direction than that of his most renowned act. Chances are as well, if you’re anything like me, you’re still riding the high from his 2012 release Eremita
. Yet here we are in October of 2013 with Das Seelenbrechen
, the man’s new full length LP coming out just around the bend.
Upon hearing that this record was highly improvisational in nature, my mind jumped back to the track The Grave off of Eremita. Sax roaring on high layered with thunderous percussion and immense build. In many areas of this album that ideal certainly rings true, sans the sax. In fact, large segments of Das Seelenbrechen shrugs off traditional song structure outright.
Official Ihsahn Website
Official Ihsahn Facebook
Official Candlelight Records Website
Candlelight Records Bandcamp
Starting with tracks like Hilber and Regen, nothing sounds out of the ordinary. Progressive with black metal tendencies and of course the signature Ihsahn touch. However, we are then greeted with the track NaCI with its straight up punchy modern prog rock vibe, after which the album treads off into terrain that separates this release from previous efforts put forth from this man. Ranging from a mellow electronic driven piece, to abrasive, dissonant aural assaults and (at first glance) minimalist soundscapes, Das Seelenbrechen truly proves to be a beast of its own volition.
Oozing with layers and intricacies, this is an album that will offer more to the listener on repeat spins, par with the course of Ihsahn’s discography. Given the loose structures, and somewhat odd dispersion of tracks across the record, I imagine opinions will vary greatly upon its release. However, I think if fans are able to approach this without a preconceived notion of what they want it to be, and give it the time it deserves they will yet again be greatly rewarded by this sonic offering. I know I will be enjoying it for some time.