(9/10) Like with the earlier releases Ihsahn delivers another curveball when it comes to new album. It is hard to predict what you get with a new longplayer done by this extraordinary creative mind. The only thing that's for sure is that an Ihsahn album contains music that isn't from the shelf. It’s music and sounds that stretches the limits and challenges fans, listeners and maybe even Ihsahn himself.
The opener „Lend Me the Eyes of Milenia“ shows the entire spectrum of Ihsahn musical creativity. Synthizers kick off the song and you have to double check if you‘ve started the right disc. After some seconds sounds get swept by evil vocals that go together with the mentioned keyboards. A few more seconds and things become crystal clear. Welcome to Ihsahn‘s new masterpiece. Hoarse vocals and an unholy vibe characterise an excellent songs that include all you could wish from a new Ihsahn album.
The dark beauty with this longplayer is the cross-genre approach of the former Emperor frontman. Harsh black metal elements are interacting with melodic parts in a perfect fashion and even melodic anthems like „Sámr“, build on bigger soundscapes, fit into the context of „Àmr“.
The moment you have the feeling of having identified the patterns of this album it‘s another twist that opens another sound pattern.
„Àmr“ includes many aspects of contemporary metal music. There isn‘t one moment on the album that doesn‘t positively surprise you as a listener. „Marble Soul“ for example begins gloomy and with a hellish grin before things turn into a catchy chorus that reminds of prog rock. „Wake“ is another tune that‘s build on a similar approach. Raw black metal and progressive moments make the song sound like a black metal version of a Devin Townsend track.
As on „Arktic“ it‘s musical genius, unbound passion, a creative flow and a lot of willpower ton stretch borders, making this longplayer to a fascinating release that shows the fact that metal can be extremely creative and divers.
- Lend Me the Eyes of the Millenia
- Arcana Imperii
- One Less Enemy
- When You are Lost and I Belong
- In Rites of Passage
- Marble Soul
- Twin Black Angels
- Alone (Bonus) (Poem by Edgar Allan Poe)
Label: Spinefarm Records
Genre: Progressive Avangarde Black Metal
Release Date EU: May 4th, 2018