Ihsahn Shares Second Single from Self-Titled Release Due Out Early Next Year

Ihsahn Shares Second Single from Self-Titled Release Due Out Early Next Year

- By Ramon Gonzales

The hugely ambitious release consists of two melodically connected versions of the same album - one prog metal, the other fully symphonic. 

Photo by Andy Ford

Celebrated pillar of extreme music, Ihsahn, has shared the  single, "Twice Born" with two versions of the intense, immersive track. The reveal continues the thematic narrative of the eponymous album due out February 16th, 2024 via Candlelight Records which was first previewed with  "Pilgrimage To Oblivion". 

As the eighth studio effort from the Norwegian legend, the self-titled effort boasts one of issahn's most assertive works of extreme art, bridging two albums linked melodically to offer two soundtracks depicting the same story. The melodically interlinked versions of the same album consiste of one prog metal version and one fully symphonic version. 

Entrusting Shaun Hodson at Loki Films to create the visual for the metal rendition of "Twice Born", the visual is contrast with the orchestral version paired with an animated visual from Costin Chioreanu. 


Speaking on the magnitude of the latest sample, Ihsahn explained, "This second single, 'Twice Born', picks up the conceptual narratives right where the previous single, 'Pilgrimage to Oblivion', ended. Both the metal version of this song and orchestral version will be accompanied by two more videos, continuing the storylines. Musically this song is perhaps slightly more playful than 'Pilgrimage To Oblivion' but follows the same interplay of screams, guitars and orchestra."

Taking on the massive creative endeavor of creating two linked albums from two opposite ends of the musical spectrum is a feat indicative of the prowess of Ihsahn. Approaching the project as the true composer and songwriter, the multi-talent confided that process was one that tested his artistic bandwidth - which was the intention from the very start. 

“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?

Ihsahn continued, "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.”

Working with Tobias Ørnes Andersen and Tobias Solbakk on drums and percussion, ihsahn is on the verge of unveiling his most accomplished, ambitious release to date. It's a creative milestone which has important personal implications. 

“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.”

Ihsahn arrives Febraury 16th via Candlelight Records. See the album artwork from Ritxi Ostariz and the tracklist below. Pre-order the album - HERE


'Ihsahn' Track List:

1: Cervus Venator 

2: The Promethean Spark

3: Pilgrimage To Oblivion

4: Twice Born

5: A Taste Of The Ambrosia

6: Anima Extraneae

7: Blood Trails To Love 

8: Hubris And Blue Devils

9: The Distance Between Us

10: At The Heart Of All Things Broken 

11: Sonata Profana 

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