Ihsahn “Das Seelenbrechen” (2013)

Ihsahn is a man that needs no introduction, especially in within the (black) metal realms. His solo project picks up from the progressive pathway he had stopped with Emperor’s Prometheus – The Discipline of Fire & Demise. Indeed, his first solo output The Adversary feels like a natural continuation of Prometheus and undoubtedly he’s been progressing even more since then. Das Seelenbrechen (released in October, 2013) finds Ihsahn stepping out of his comfort zone, as the material for this album has been created through improvisation jams and deep experimentation.

This open-minded approach has resulted in a ten-song album with its first four songs (plus ”Tacit”) being quite remarkable and highly interesting. The album is generally more stripped-down and less technical than his previous efforts and dark in atmosphere. Still, Das Seelenbrechen manages to be deep and introspective yet so easily accessible. A good example of that is definitely ”Pulse”; it’s almost amazing how such a straightforward and simple song can carry that distinctive Ihsahn feel. The second half of the album shows an even more experimental and darker face, maybe a tad too much as the album is starting to feel quite incoherent in places with no real climax in the songs, especially in the two final ones (and the bonus tracks which are just ambient).

That being said, Das Seelenbrechen is definitely the most diverse and avant-garde Ihsahn album. An album described by Ihsahn as a “deliberate sidestep” from his previous solo albums, which was designed “to avoid falling into any kind of formula” and for which he should be given credit for. It is surely far from what an Emperor fan would (or should) expect but it is without doubt an intriguing release that serves its purpose.

-Lefteris Kefalas


Release:  21.10.2013
Label:  Candlelight Records
Avantgenre:  Deliberate Sidesteps In The Night
Duration:  49 Minutes
Origin:  Norway
Official site:  http://www.ihsahn.com/
Review online since:  19.08.2015 / 22:34:02


01 – Hiber
02 – Regen
03 – NaCl
04 – Pulse
05 – Tacit 2
06 – Tacit
07 – Rec
08 – M
09 – Sub Ater
10 – See

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