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Ihsahn - angL CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.82 | 85 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Ihsahn attempts to recapture that fire (and demise) and gifts us all with another three quarters of an hour's vamp-groove in the gothic, self-conscious fashion that fits him so well.

It's dull, though. Ihsahn must have dominated the writing process while in Emperor and Peccatum because his solo music is a neat continuation of those bands all stirred in with considerable Opeth influence (and vice-versa, since metal is often such a spiral towards copyism), and like that band, although the songs are dressed up in intellectualism and experiment they each remain predictable, particularly as they are SO CLOSELY ROOTED in songs the man has already written.

There exist very proggy sections which will suit this generation of musos - bouts of fretless bass and guitar interplay here, descending pseudorandom riffs there. The songs average five minutes of length, so alternate sections are swapped in to keep the music from stagnating, which I appreciate. angL is not so extreme as anything by Emperor because Opeth syndrome has crept in, so instead of having a heavy song you have a heavy, repetitive part of one which then returns to more gothic climes - a very acceptable and safe way of diluting an extreme genre, one that's expected of mellowing musicians. All in all, the album is comfortably aimed at coffee-table metalheads. This may describe you, in which case, you might want to buy Ihsahn's album instead of Opeth's this year.

For the rest of us, who aren't so taken in by this false dichotomy between light and shade nor this cynical attempt at bring extreme to the mature (music in this reviewer's view can be either one or the other, which isn't to say that extreme music is bad but simply that it should not be tempered) this album is safely ignorable, or at least, be sure to have heard Peccatum's Lost in Reverie first, since that album is far more charming and Ihsahn does better work, there.

laplace | 2/5 |


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