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Ihsahn └mr album cover
3.85 | 85 ratings | 2 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lend Me The Eyes Of Millennia (5:48)
2. Arcana Imperii (4:53)
3. Sßmr (5:27)
4. One Less Enemy (5:18)
5. Where You Are Lost And I Belong (5:13)
6. In Rites Of Passage (4:04)
7. Marble Soul (4:04)
8. Twin Black Angels (4:40)
9. Wake (4:25)

Total time 43:52

Bonus track on 2018 LP release:
10. Alone (Poem by Edgar Allan Poe) (11:12)

Line-up / Musicians

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

- Fredrik Akesson / guitar solo (2)
- Tobias ěrnes Andersen / drums
- Angell Solberg Tveitan / marching drum (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Bj°rn Tore Moen (photo)

CD Candlelight Records ‎- CANDLE734875 (2018, Europe)

2xLP Candlelight Records ‎- CANDLE734877 (2018, UK) With a bonus track

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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IHSAHN └mr ratings distribution

(85 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

IHSAHN └mr reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
5 stars There are some musicians who have had such a major impact on a genre that they have the right to be viewed in a different manner to mere mortals, and Ihsahn is surely one of these. He originally came to prominence as frontman, guitarist and keyboard player with legendary Norwegian black metal pioneers Emperor. They released classic albums like 1995's 'In The Nightside Eclipse' and 1997's 'Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk' before initially calling it a day in 2001, although they have returned a few times since then and are currently active again. However, Ihsahn (Vegard Sverre Tveitan) has gone on to release solo albums that have shown amazing diversity that look back to what he has achieved in the past while also looking ahead into pastures new, creating sounds and songs that captivate anyone who hears them.

With just drummer Tobias ěrnes Andersen, and a guest guitar solo on one number from Opeth's Fredrik Akesson, Ihsahn has created what to my ears is his most diverse and powerful solo release yet. There are songs, and sections of other songs, that could easily be played to a listener and they would have no comprehension that the man behind them has also produced some of the most amazing black metal anthems ever, as it bears no relationship to them at all. But, there are also times when he lets his past come back into the present, to create something that is taking the essence of Emperor and turning it into something new. Some of the songs may have gruff vocals, while other shown Ihsahn in a few more melodic and contemplative mood. It is this refusal to sit within any implied structure or rigour that makes this such an outstanding piece of work. One just never knows what is going to come next, what twist or turn is going to take place, and the result is a progressive metal album that is true to both words.

This is progressive music in its truest sense, attempting to take a genre and twist and meld it as opposed to siting inside one particular genre or another: the music is a breathing living beast and Ihsahn is sat there guiding it further and further into the dark bleak void. Ihsahn says, "Knowing that the form would be somewhat similar to what I did on the previous album, and given that I write stuff in a certain way, I wanted to change the wrapping this time. So instead of going with my go-tos of strings and orchestration, I focused on analog synths and more in-your-face sounds. It goes back to the beginning of Emperor, when we brought in strings and horns inspired by orchestral movie scores by John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith, but at the same time we loved all those eerie synth soundtracks of f.ex John Carpenter┤s Halloween. I've also been listening to some contemporary r'n'b and hip-hop stuff with those deep, deep 808s. It's just somehow darker than a lot of metal or black metal. It has a depth and an energy to it that I find captivating, so I wanted to explore those arrangement styles as well."

Listen to the delicacy of his vocals on "Where You Are Lost And I Belong", contrast that to what is going on musically, which is jagged and sparse, and there is no doubt that this is yet another classic that fans will be talking about for years to come. Ihsahn is undoubtedly one of the most important musical talents to come out of the Norwegian metal scene, and this is an essential release.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Always the trailblazer, IHSAHN may not be at the helm of Emperor or the multitude of side projects that propelled him throughout the 90s any longer but after launching his solo career with 2006's "The Adversary," he has shown no sign of ending his ceaseless creative run of albums that takes a little of what came before and mixes in new elements of surprise. └MR (an Old Norse word for both "black" and "loathsome") is IHSAHN's seventh album and finds him in top form with his now usual roster of heavy progressive metal riffs that harken back to his black metal days as well as the artier side of his Peccatum experience.

While increasing the dosages of experimentalism and avant-garde with every subsequent album starting with his debut, IHSAHN hit a brick wall with 2013's "Seelenbrechen" which found many tracks escape the confines of metal altogether and conspired to create dark and sinister dark ambient tracks with some of the sickest vocal performances outside of extreme metal. The followup "Arktis" found IHSAHN streamlining his overall sound where he cranked what i would dare call progressive pop infused metal tracks with strong characteristics of his avant-garde progressiveness but tamed a bit with more accessible hooks and conventional songwriting structures.

While never one to jump too far too fast IHSAHN played his cards rather smoothly and added just enough of the easy-to-digest elements that made "Arktis" a much more accessible album than "Seelenbrechen." └MR pretty much continues the trend with a near identical formula that incorporates the near identical ration of elements on "Arktis." Firstly are the heavier progressive tracks ("Lend Me The Eyes Of Millenia," "One Less Enemy," "Arcana Imperii," "Wake") that contain the harshest elements of his extreme metal sounds such as the raspy black metal vocals and balls-to-the-wall guitar bombast on steroids with incessant time signature attacks that unapologetically wreak havoc on unsuspecting stereo systems.

In addition are several mid-paced tracks ("Sßmr," "Where You Are Lost And I Belong," "Twin Black Angels") that showcase IHSAHN's mellow and tender side where he displays a much more accomplished range of clean vocals and the tracks rely almost exclusively on melodic hooks with heavier guitar elements only added to generate some heft. Could he even be seeking the next alternative metal hit of some sort? These are the tracks that find IHSAHN deviating the most from his relentless pursuit of everything extreme and experimental that has pretty much dominated his approach up to "Arktis," which flirted with some of these metal oriented progressive pop tracks but └MR makes no false pretenses that these aspects of IHSAHN's song styles are here to stay.

There are also a couple of tracks ("In Rites Of Passage," "Marble Soul") that fit somewhere in between the two extremes presented above. These two tracks implement both styles and alternate between the two with mellow clean vocals styles for the slower segments and the raspy vocals for the heavier driving parts. These tracks (as well as others) mix it up with electronic segments which is another aspect of └MR that seems to be developing more on each album, that is the use of retro prog sounding keyboard parts. While restrained as not to go all Opeth on us, the trend is unmistakable as slowly but surely IHSAHN is dedicating at least a segment of his music to turning more progressive rock than metal but these tracks are cleverly sandwiched by the heavy hitters as to avoid a complete derailment in the fanbase's fickle tastes.

└MR was the first IHSAHN album not to completely blow me away upon first listen. Instead i felt like this was an "Arktis II" of sort but this guy's music is intricate and has an uncanny capacity to grow on me fairly quickly and even though this is probably by far the most accessible of anything he has done in his career with sing-along vocal segments and irresistible pop laden hooks coming out of the woodworks, IHSAHN has a brilliant way of keeping a layer of extremity that makes it so unusual even though the hooks are so utterly seductive. Is this a sign of even more commercial directions being pursued? Well, we'll have to wait and see but at this point these developments aren't detrimental to the album's continuity. Once again IHSAHN has crafted a very well designed slice of progressive metal even if it's not deviating significantly from what came before. Very much the enjoyable musical endeavor.

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