Welcome to Check Your Mode

The all-inclusive, ever-changing, and uncomfortably flexible guide to all things music in the 2010's.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ihsahn - Ihsahn: B+

If you listen to only one song on former Emperor front-man, Ihsahn's third album (which I would strongly advise against), make it the album's final song, "On the Shores". Jorgan Munkeby's saxophone performance is one for the history books, as he is given full stretches of the ten minute song to just go into all-out free-form jazz mode. It's a gloriously hectic performance of which few others I have ever heard. The simple contrast of saxophone and Emperor-style metal is staunch, but the musicianship is so mind-blowing, I would rather just direct you to the link than try to articulate its majesty for much longer.

And the rest of Ihsahn is cool, too. Ihsahn, aside from the saxophone, recorded all of the parts, himself, which is incredible once you hear the fantastic musicianship on all fronts. The harmonies of "After" are executed, wonderfully and prove to be the poppiest moment on the album, and there are enough blast beats and guitar solos abound for any metal fan to celebrate.

Is it metal album of the year? No, but for anyone who craves music on the onset of innovation, Ihsahn is a pretty demonstrative of where 2010's metal may be headed. Every other genre melded in the 2000's, so I welcome this sound. Metal's a genre I don't hear enough about, so Ihsahn is proof that the genre is still going into new and exciting places.


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