Norwegian progressive metal artist Ihsahn is set to release his innovative new album on February 16, 2024, through Candlelight Records. This eighth studio album represents a significant leap in Ihsahn's creative journey, offering a unique twist: two melodically interlinked versions of the same album, one in a prog metal style and the other a full symphonic rendition. Both versions together form what Ihsahn calls a "cinematically-influenced masterpiece," simply named Ihsahn.
Ahead of the album's release, the first single "Pilgrimage To Oblivion" has been launched, complete with a video shot by Shaun Hodson of Loki Films. An orchestral version of this track also features a visualiser created by Costin Chioreanu.
Ihsahn's latest offering goes beyond standard musical boundaries. It's a dual-record concept with a complex, intertwined narrative. Each version of the album - metal and orchestral - presents a different perspective of the same musical themes. This project, self-produced by Ihsahn and refined over three years, features mixing by Jens Bogren for the metal version and Joel Dollié for the orchestral, with mastering by Tony Lindgren.
The album began with a simple piano composition, from which Ihsahn expanded into the elaborate project it is now. The music combines the core elements of black metal with influences from classic film soundtracks, showcasing Ihsahn's talent in crossing genre lines. He explains that the idea was to create a soundtrack within the structures of a full production, offering two distinct yet complementary interpretations of the same music.
Ihsahn emphasizes that this album, while rooted in his black metal heritage, represents his ambition to elevate his artistic expression. He views this as his most challenging and satisfying project to date, learning much in the process. The pandemic provided the necessary time to invest deeply in this ambitious endeavor, driven by his desire to continually engage both himself and his audience.
The album is a testament to Ihsahn's prowess as a musician and composer, featuring contributions from Tobias Ørnes Andersen and Tobias Solbakk on drums and percussion, additional percussion and violins by Ihsahn's son Angell Solberg Tveitan, and artwork by Ritxi Ostariz. Photographer Andy Ford provided the promotional images.
Ihsahn also hints at a conceptual story underlying the album, a Wagnerian narrative that parallels the traditional hero's journey. He has collaborated with various visual artists who have brought their interpretations to the album's themes and stories, all unified in a cohesive artistic vision.
Ihsahn will be released on February 16th, 2024 via Candlelight Records. Pre-Orders are available HERE.
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
Ihsahn Orchestral Tracklisting:
1: Cervus Venator Orchestral
2: The Promethean Spark Orchestral
3: Pilgrimage To Oblivion Orchestral
4: Twice Born Orchestral
5: A Taste Of The Ambrosia Orchestral
6: Anima Extraneae Orchestral
7: Blood Trails To Love Orchestral
8: Hubris And Blue Devils Orchestral
9: The Distance Between Us Orchestral
10: At The Heart Of All Things Broken Orchestral
11: Sonata Profana Orchestral