IHSAHN – “Amr” (2018)

Written by Marko Ristić

Progressive Metal
Spinefarm Records, 2018

“Amr” will instantly let you know that there are so many layers in this record that you won’t be able to stop listening to it.

There are some musicians that change the course of metal forever. And nothing would be the same without them. One of those musicians is IHSAHN. First, it would be very hard to write about the impact this man had on the complete black metal scene and metal in general. Second, I hope that you already listened to one of his solo efforts because his music is unrealistically good. The story he started with his solo career, besides Emperor and Peccatum will bring you countless hours of enjoyment.

Seventh studio album “Amr” will instantly let you know that there are so many layers in this record that you won’t be able to stop listening to it, just like all of his previous efforts.

As usual, Ihsahn featured the heaviest song at the beginning of a record and his “fist in the face” this time is named “Lend Me The Eyes Of Millennia”. Familiar growl mixed with great guitar parts and even better keys will bring you a point where Ihsahn goes with this record. You can also hear parts that will bring joy to all Emperor fans, but the fact is there is not a single part of this record that you are not going to love.

The album is full of beautiful, multilayered arrangements where Ihsahn fantastically combines black and progressive metal elements with what some would call pop elements. But these “pop elements” make this board fantastic and give a certain kind of tension to the material that will buy you for all time. If I had to compare the album with some of the older ones, I would say that this is a direct continuation of  “Arktis” that came out in 2016.

If by any chance you know which way you would expect to hear Emperor‘s legacy, it’s traceable here. So do not think yourself wiser to do better or give yourself the right to comment that Ihsahn would do it better. Maybe he could do better, but if he continues to put out great albums, it seems to me that no one will ever miss what he used to do. In my modest opinion, this album certainly makes the top 10 albums list in 2018.

If I had to find a bad side of this album, I would bow out to the fact that the complexity of the arrangement probably cannot be transferred to live performances, and I certainly would not like to hear these songs in some “impoverished” version. Although knowing his troupe is always made up of quality musicians with admirable skills, we can probably throw that comment away. We’ll wait to see this live, so we’ll talk about it. Until then, enjoy great music, an album this good is not a common practice in recent metal history.

Written by Marko Ristić


01. Lend Me The Eyes Of Millennia
02. Arcana Imperii
03. Sámr
04. One Less Enemy
05. Where You Are Lost And I Belong
06. In Rites Of Passage
07. Marble Soul
08. Twin Black Angels
09. Wake


Seventh studio album “Amr” will give you a hint already after first listening that you have so many layers on this record that you won’t be able to stop listening to it.