Legendary Emperor frontman Ihsahn has built a strong reputation as a solo artist and the new long awaited effort “Ámr” will solidify even more his status of avant-metal composer surprising and challenging the listeners with monumental, often unconventional, multifaceted textures and rare creativity.
With surreal soundscapes built by an enigmatic loop of synths & guitars “Lend Me the Eyes of Millenia” feels immediately charismatic creating suspenseful moments with subtly symphonic layers meticulously mixed with abrasive rhythmic patterns which follow a clever progressive fluidity and will often acquire a faster borderline ominous pace while Ihsahn’s relentless intense screams certainly still draw inspiration from his renowned black metal roots.
The eclectic & frenetic rhythms of “Arcana Imperii” are significantly influenced by prog rock/metal and successfully create stylish diversity offering a fair dosage of crunchy guitars and precise drumming but also an inspired melodic essence enhanced by luminous atmospheric layers and the excellent lead guitar work featuring a fancy solo performed by Opeth’s guitarist Fredrik Åkesson.
On “Sàmr” synths hold a dominant role creating ethereal & melancholic arrangements with electro accents that embellish the primary melodic tapestries shaped by a compelling guitar work which follows a slower contemplative pace favoring a clean passionate vocal delivery.
“Marble Soul” is exquisitely captivating with a fierce round of addictive guitar riffs and desperate growls that definitely bring back a heavier blackened rhythmic ensemble yet such profound darkness will eventually embrace brighter emotionally charged melodic nuances and poignant clean vocals.
The opening inflamed combo of menacing guitar riffs and blackened drum blasts on “Wake” feels darkly majestic but the eclectic nature of this track will emerge triumphantly later with electro elements, kaleidoscopic atmospheric synths and a remarkably elegant melodic guitar solo.
Nobody could ever doubt the incredible & unique creative force behind all Ihsahn’s music as like a true alchemist he constantly re-invents and manipulates styles and songwriting therefore “Ámr” is the natural consequence of a sophisticated evolution and an immersive listening experience that you cannot miss.