Straight up, Ihsahn is legendary for various reasons, but much like true visionaries in music, he has made a name for himself as an excellent solo artist. I mean, did you read our retrospective of his album Eremita? The Norwegian metal artist is returning very soon with new music under his solo name with Ámr. It releases on May 4, and it appears to be a unique beast within his catalog.
Ihsahn spoke a bit on the sound behind Ámr to Blabbermouth: ‘…Instead of going with my go-tos of strings and orchestration, I focused on analog synths and more in-your-face sounds. It goes back to the beginning of Emperor, when we brought in strings and horns inspired by orchestral movie scores by John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith, but at the same time we loved all those eerie synth soundtracks of, for example, John Carpenter‘s Halloween.’
Additionally, and perhaps more interestingly, Ihsahn also says he’s been indulging in some contemporary r’n’b and hip-hop with hard-hitting 808 percussion. ‘It’s just somehow darker than a lot of metal or black metal. It has a depth and an energy to it that I find captivating, so I wanted to explore those arrangement styles as well‘. Given all of this, it’s no wonder that Blabbermouth calls Ámr his most accessible record and the biggest departure from black metal yet. Even still, that’s not explicitly a goal with this, or really any, album:
‘Every album I intend to make the darkest album ever. I never set out to make anything more melodic or accessible. However, growing up on ’80s metal, plus having a rather wide range of musical influences, I often end up with quite contrasting elements. This is my seventh solo album, so in the end it really comes down to methods and perspectives that keep me [excited] and fired up about what I’m working on. If I’m not excited about it, I can’t expect anybody else to be!’
Fair enough, Ihsahn! Consider me excited along with you. We don’t have any further details for pre-orders or new music yet, but that should come in due time. For now, listen to this absolute banger from his last album, Arktis.