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Ihsahn After album cover
3.98 | 222 ratings | 17 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Barren Lands (5:12)
2. A Grave Inversed (4:25)
3. After (4:47)
4. Frozen Lakes on Mars (5:54)
5. Undercurrent (10:00)
6. Austere (6:16)
7. Heavens Black Sea (6:15)
8. On the Shores (10:12)

Total Time 53:04

Special Edition bonuses:
9. DVD: About After - Interview With Ihsahn
10. DVD: The Macking Of - 3 Chaptered Studio Reports
11. DVD: Ihsahn Live - Live At Rockefeller (7 Tracks)

Line-up / Musicians

- Vegard Sverre Tveitan / vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, synth, composer, arranger, producer

- Jørgen Munkeby / sax
- Lars Norberg / fretless bass
- Asgeir Mickelson / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Ritxi Ostáriz

CD Candlelight Records ‎- Candle288CD (2010, UK)
CD Candlelight Records ‎- CANDLE767201 (2017, Europe)

2xLP Temple Of Darkness Records ‎? TOD034 (2010, Europe)
2xLP Candlelight Records USA ‎- CANDLE766666 (2017, Europe)

Thanks to peccatum for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy IHSAHN After Music

IHSAHN After ratings distribution

(222 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

IHSAHN After reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's a neat trick to use noise as the background of music and to build this progressiveness on it. Because most bands ends by this "noise" thing and it's not Prog then. But what actually is Prog ? Well, hard questions and I unfortunately don't have answers that will please you. Answer is 42 then.

I'll also not go if Ihsahn (name to prevent correct spelling?) deserves better place in charts, that's irrelevant. Important question is whether these additional elements are enough to justify higher rating, or so bad to justify bad rating.

I sometimes review in style that I don't know what rating will I give to the very last moment. This is the case.

I can't listen most hardcore Death Metal / Avantgarde bands, but I can listen "After", so it's somehow weaker in ho/terror bringing than their more unpleasant brothers. It's nothing mellow of symphonic either, but that doesn't matter as long as you can take trash riff style and weak growls.

Anyway, it's interesting how every growl sounds different, but not just a little bit, but quite a lot.

These songs have melody, sometimes good one, but the important thing is that when we mix all these things that you have for sure heard in previous reviews (I don't want to go through this again), add how I like this (a little bit), end with counter argument that it's not so bad (better average), you're on

4(-) position that means: "Marty like it, you're free to try it too, why not after all. You'll probably like it too, but it's not extremely interesting (I wouldn't kill for this music)."

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I am not a regular prog metal listener, but usually am trying to listen at least most interesting releases when possible. This year I was really pleasantly surprised by Enslaved release. But this ex-Emperor frontman's third solo release is really better!

Ihsahn plays 8-string Ibanez guitar and occasionally keyboards on this album, but this music isn't axe-guitarist album. With his roots on symphonic black metal of Emperor, music on this album is very different from it, and being vary various, shows the trend to post-metal sound.

Compositions strongly differs between each other (for good for sure) and are sounding somewhere between a bit lazy black metal, some trash, melodic prog and some post-metal with free jazz (!) elements. Almost every song has its melody, tempos differ from slow to almost fast trash. Most important is album's atmosphere - differently from many modern metal albums with energy and rhythm absolute dominance, this album is melodic! Possibly,some prog metal fans could be disappointed by plenty of softer and not so heavy moments on the album, but such structure makes it much more interesting and attractive.

Vocals vary from growl and scream to clean voice, but its always sound good. Possible, most attractive and really positive element in all album's music is use of many sax solos, sometimes even free-jazz sax attacks! Far not very usual, but very successfully used on this album combination!

Not radically experimental, this album is more well balanced release,based on best components of modern progressive metal of last few years. Album of modern heavy music, but for pleasant listening, not for being shocked by unusual sounds or radical experiments. And very successful album!

As I mentioned above, it's very possible I missed few more really interesting prog metal releases of this year, but from what I listened of that genre, this album is absolutely the best one!

My rating is 4,5 rounded to 5! Very recommended not only for metal fans, but for every open ears prog lover!

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 2010 and the majority of releases in the metal field have become faceless troll-cloning affairs, but the old pioneers from the 90s keep surprising me with fresh and inspired albums. And just like Enslaved, also the project around mr. Ihsahn (from their Norwegian soul brothers Emperor) released an inventive and powerful album.

After contains technical modern metal, it's somehow similar to Enslaved's Axioma Ethica Odini but Ihsahn has moved further away from their black metal roots then Enslaved. The hoarse shrieks are still chilling as of old, but the music is more diverse, often rooted in thrash metal, sometimes in black metal, and quite often in Voivod prog metal. Ihsahn even incorporate some elements from jazz and avant, mainly evident in the tasty addition of saxophones and fretless bass. Also the production is fantastic; in an age of overstressed production values this album avoids the constant and deafening loudness of your regular modern metal album.

As usual the vocals are split between clean vocals and vile black metal screams. Both work perfectly on this release and accentuate the great dynamics and diversity on this album. Obviously, the shrieks and growls are a notorious acquired taste and for sure we can expect a negative review pointing at that element any day soon.

This album is comparable to Enslaved's Axioma Ethica Odini but it is more technical and innovative, while Enslaved's album is more atmospheric and intense. I have a slight preference for the intense and atmospheric angle but in fact both albums are equally fantastic. Hail Norway for releasing not less then 3 five-star albums for me in 2010!

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Sorry, Ihsahn and metal fans, this album doesn't do it for me. This music seems best when executing a murder or other violent crime (except for maybe "After")--I really find no globally or spiritually redeeming outcomes of this type of music--except as an outlet and release for angst, frustration, anger and rage. personally I'd rather save my hearing and go chop some wood. The occasional soft, slow, or "pretty" melody ("Undercurrent," "After" and "Austere"--and even "On the Shore") is still not enough to make this album one that I would recommend as excellent, but the aforementioned three--along with the instrumentalism and, at times, strong compostion will allow me to rate this with three stars--"good (more like, 'okay'), but (definitely) not essential.
Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'After' - Ihsahn (8/10)

Best known as the frontman for the legendary black metal band Emperor, Ihsahn's solo work takes quite a different approach than anything we might have heard from his former flagship band. As can be readily heard on his third studio album 'After', the man now takes equal sound from progressive music as he does with black metal, and the end result is an inventive brand of black metal that far outweighs his earlier work in terms of complexity and diversity, but equal in feeling and atmosphere. While not holding as much of a personal significance as his second solo album 'Angl' does, 'After' shows the man developing his progressive metal sound to incorporate more experimental and unpredictable elements, resulting in an excellent album altogether.

With 'Angl', I was greeted with intelligent performance, some technical riffs and proggy elements, but the focus was always around the songwriting and the thought put into it. With 'After' now, the songwriting is fleshed out into a more epic scope, allowing for such longer compositions as 'Undercurrent' and the closer 'On The Shores' to take their place on the album. With greater room for experimentation, Ihsahn lets the songs build on their own time, and the end result is usually very effective musically. However, it does feel as if the songwriting has taken a bit of a toll here when compared to 'Angl'. Despite added complexity to the arrangements and more involved pieces of music, it does make me miss the to-the- point and tight experience the second album had to offer. That being said however, 'After' features some points that could easily surpass almost anything 'Angl' had to offer.

Perhaps the most noticeable difference here when compared to Ihsahn's earlier work is the incorporation of heavy jazz elements, primarily the common use of a tenor saxophone, played brilliantly by Jorgen Munkeby. Although this is certainly a progressive black metal record by and large, it is the saxophone that drives the music quite often, becoming most noticeable with the most frenetic song 'A Grave Inversed', and on a solemn theme that is repeated throughout much of the latter half of the album. On top of the overt jazz influence in the use of saxophone, there is also a fretless bass used that gives Ihsahn's sound an added depth of class to it, proving that he is not an artist that is simply talented in, or limited to the genre of metal.

The production and performance here are both the best Ihsahn has ever done, which only adds to the intensity of the music. Were it not for a few still great, but less interesting moments on the album such as 'Frozen Lakes On Mars' or the greater part of 'Heaven's Black Sea', Ihsahn would have a real masterpiece on his hands.

Review by Negoba
4 stars Surprisingly Textured, Progressive and Rocking Album

While preparing my 2010 year-end best of list, I scanned through alot of youtube clips from albums that I hadn't heard and wasn't all that interested in. Black metal has never been my cup of tea, and what little I'd heard of Ihsahn had been a bit bland to my ear. But the tracks I heard from AFTER were quite promising, and I found myself actually listening to the album 3 times through using this unwieldly format. I finally got the album, and after continuous listening I have to concur that it was one of the best of 2010. I've collected a bit more progressive black metal since then, and I think I finally have some perspective in order to review properly.

As has been noted by other reviewers, AFTER is not black metal with progressive tendencies. It is decidedly progressive metal that just happens to use some black elements. In fact, some of Ihsahn's choice are truly unique, or at least within this genre. Most obvious is the use of saxophone so prominently, and in varied settings. While the meloncholic wail of the sax during "On the Shores" reminds me of Queensryche's "Promised Land" the chaotic whirling lines on "A Grave Inversed" represent one of the few true musical surprises I'd heard in a long time. The sax doesn't sound like misplaced jazz styling or blues, it fits the music and is, well, metal.

Similarly, Ihsahn's 7-string (and 8 I believe) guitar tones are wonderfully rich and aggressive. Screaming harmonics abound, and the combination of growl and bite makes for one of the best modern tones I've heard. Ihsahn also writes good riffs. In a day where virtually every riff in metal can be traced to previous work, the guitar here not only is intellectually interesting, but emotionally evocative. The opening track's behind the beat grind makes my spine want to twist, while "A Grave Inversed" (my favorite track on the album) sports a frentic sixteenth note riff that is simply brilliant. Vocally, Ihsahn's cleans are better than most metal singers with the refrain of "After" being particularly good. He actually has a sense of melody and AFTER features several singable choruses. His black harsh vocals sound crazed while keeping the lyrics comprehendible, but are a bit thin at times. The lyrics are typically gloomy and violent, but are appropriate to the music. He's no Mikael, but uses what he has quite effectively.

Bottom line: Great riffs, great instrument sounds, mature and effective songwriting. A few new twists and new recombinations of familiar aspects of metal. Excellent but not masterpiece.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Ihsahn's post-Emperor projects have never quite gained the prominence of the mighty Emperor, but albums like After might be worth a reappraisal if you happen to like the more progressive direction his work has taken. As with much of his post-Emperor work, it's a mixture of progressive metal and black metal influences, and I'd say it's more on the prog metal side of the equation than black metal (blackened prog metal rather than progressive black metal), with really only the vocals steering towards a more black metal direction a lot of the time. Jørgen Munkeby of Shining's saxophone is an unexpected addition - for better or worse, the mighty sax hasn't had much of a presence in metal - but a welcome one. Still, I can't help but think that as far as experimental progressive metal with a black metal aesthetic goes, both Shining and Ihsahn's unleashed apprentices in Leprous kind of outshine this.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "After" is the 3rd full-lengh studio album by Norwegian progressive metal artist Ihsahn. The album was released through Candlelight Records in January 2010. It´s the successor to "angL" from 2008. All instruments and vocals are handled by Ihsahn, except the drums which are played by Asgeir Mickelson and session musicians Lars K. Norberg and Jørgen Munkeby who perform fretless bass and saxophone.

Stylistically "After" is a natural continuation of the progressive metal sound on "angL (2008)". Ihsahn sings both raw blackened vocals, but also performs strong clean vocals, and the instrumental part of the music is a sophisticated and very dynamic combination of progressive metal/rock and various more extreme metal oriented elements (and the occasional nod towards avant garde). Both the vocal and the instrumental performances on the album are of a high quality and generally just reek class. References to artists like Opeth, Enslaved, and Leprous are valid.

While Ihsahn certainly isn´t the most extreme of artists, there are still some relatively hard-edged moments, and his raw snarling vocals are also pretty rough and probably wouldn´t be easy to appreciate, if you´re not accustomed to extreme metal vocals. The music also features both melodic sections, and some melancholic atmospheric moments though, which should please fans of atmospheric progressive metal/rock. So it´s safe to say the material is varied and loaded with contrasts. Dark/light, loud/quiet, hard-edged/mellow. Ihsahn masters most elements to perfection.

All material on the 8 track, 53:04 minutes long album are well written and memorable. While all tracks are equally strong and nothing is sub par on the album, the 10 minutes long "Undercurrent" is to my ears one of the highlights. "After" features a powerful, clear, and detailed sound production, which suits the material well, and upon conclusion it´s another high quality release by Ihsahn, showing both enough development to keep the fans excited, but also consistency of sound and quality. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Latest members reviews

3 stars Ihsahn, formerly the lead singer of legendary Norwegian black metal band Emporer, has stated that After was the final album in a trilogy, the first two albums being the prior two releases, the first of his post-Emperor solo career. While the musical or lyrical connection between these albums is flim ... (read more)

Report this review (#2299162) | Posted by ssmarcus | Sunday, December 22, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I would say that angL is my favorite album(because of Unhealer).But this album is the best for me(and my favorite).Because is more progressive and the Akerfeldt's influence on Ihsahn's vocals is here.Ihsahn's vocals are peaceful and soft.His screams is characteristic and unique.There are very good r ... (read more)

Report this review (#316947) | Posted by Prog Geo | Saturday, November 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When I saw After, Ihsahn's third solo release, in the stores, I was both pleasantly surprised (It was the first time I'd heard of the album) and slightly worried at the same time. I had enjoyed both The Adversary and angL upon their release, but didn't know whether or not Ihsahn could maintain s ... (read more)

Report this review (#287322) | Posted by Stooge | Saturday, June 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is my first expirience with ihsahn, and i must say it is quite a good first imprsession. I found them on the list of best prog albums of 2010 and got the album right away. At first i was not impressed and had very little intrest in the extreme metal they performed, i gave up after the ... (read more)

Report this review (#286446) | Posted by DASistGrantTeeL | Monday, June 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Nothing special. This album isn't exactly bad. It just seems unnecessary, especially if you already are familiar with both Emperor and Peccatum. Ihsahn's solo project is much closer to the latter as far as melodies and production goes. The melodies, however, is the biggest drawback. Repeatedl ... (read more)

Report this review (#277940) | Posted by Robinanimate | Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars My first Ihsahn record (and apparently the final one), in short I found this to be a quality prog metal album but not that much to write home about. It explodes out of the gates with a pair of granny scarers. First up is The Barren Lands which has ferocious energy and some nice, complex, riff ... (read more)

Report this review (#272310) | Posted by Textbook | Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When I first started listening to this CD I was iffy on the vocals. I decide to stick with it and I am glad I did. When the second song A Grave Inversed came up, I was shock to hear the sax in a extreme metal album but it was so well done it blended nicely with the track. I completed the album an ... (read more)

Report this review (#271188) | Posted by sirfragalot86 | Thursday, March 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What a surprise! I actually dislike his 2 first albums, The Adversary and angL, I think they have a lack of cohesion, and they're very monotone too. But After is quite different. This album is more mature, cohesive and progressive than his previous albums. The incursion of the sax, provided ... (read more)

Report this review (#262501) | Posted by Yeidí | Tuesday, January 26, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The thirt solo album from ex-Emperor frontman and guitarist Ihsahn. In Emperor's horde Ihsahn demonstrates an interesting symphonic black metal, especially in the last two albums. In group Peccatum, he sought more experimental sounds, which could hardly be incorporated into the Emperor's sound. So, ... (read more)

Report this review (#260102) | Posted by peccatum | Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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