Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Ihsahn (EMPEROR) will release his next solo album, “Ihsahn”, on February 16 via Candlelight Records.
In addition to the traditional album version, Ihsahn‘s new album will also include an orchestral version.
The first single from the forthcoming album, “Pilgrimage To Oblivion”, has now been released. Ihsahn comments: “‘Pilgrimage To Oblivion’ serves as a rather immediate introduction to the overarching musical and conceptual aspects of the album. The lyrics go directly into the storyline and the video is the first in a sequel of videos portraying the whole story.
“On average, I’ve been releasing a full-length album every second year since I was 16. And, you know, that has given me some opportunity to explore different options, so for my eighth full-length solo record, I thought, ‘Okay, how can I do what I do best, but also raise the bar tenfold?’ At the heart of what I do is black metal, extreme distorted guitars and screaming, but since the earliest EMPEROR recordings you’ll hear the keyboard parts influenced by classic soundtracks by the likes of Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, Bernard Herrmann, John Carpenter and so on.
So, I approached the writing with the intent to present the material in its full-blown metal expression, but also to arrange the orchestral parts in such a way that they would work independently. Somehow an attempt to write a soundtrack within the structures of the full production, allowing me to explore different, and sometimes contrasting, variations of essentially the same music. In the end I wrote all the music as a piano short-score and arranged it for a typical band ensemble and orchestra, accordingly, making sure everything interlocked.”
As for the orchestral record, Ihsahn commented: “I’ve been honoured to work with some astounding visual artists on this, who were all given access to my scrapbooks, music, lyrics, stories, mood boards etc. It’s been amazing to see how they’ve all interpreted the material differently, but still in a way that binds everything together.
“It’s a privilege that I get to make music and travel the world to play my music. And when I say this is subjectively my greatest musical achievement so far, it has nothing to do with ego or prestige, but rather to do with gratitude for the experience. Art taps into the metaphysical and the archetypes of our existence- it lets us experience loss, death, love – it prepares us for all of those things in some way. That’s the value, that’s the perspective I wish to create from.”
01. Cervus Venator
02. The Promethean Spark
03. Pilgrimage To Oblvision
04. Twice Born
05. A Taste Of The Ambrosia
06. Anima Extraneae
07. Blood Trails To Love
08. Hubris And Blue Devils
09. The Distance Between Us
10. At The Heart Of All Things Broken
11. Sonata Profana