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Ihsahn - After CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.98 | 215 ratings

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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!

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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