Ihsahn
Eremita


3.5
great

Review

by CaptainDooRight USER (93 Reviews)
June 20th, 2012 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ihsahn’s 4th studio LP release proves why he is still considered one of modern day’s best Black/Progressive artists.

Most notably known as the front man for epic black metal band Emperor, Vergard Sverre Tveitan[Ihsahn] set his hopes on a solo career with the goals of creating a more progressive sound while still retaining past influences from his roots of heavy metal, black metal, and classical music. While most of Ihsanh’s earliest works in his solo career involved the sole creations of himself, as time went on his latter releases showcased the continuance of adding more and more guest artist to the equation. With his latest release, “Eremita”, the number of assembled entities is at its greatest with appearances from Jeff Loomis’ guitar work, Devin Townsend’s vocals, his wife Heidi Tveitan’s vocals, and the expressive saxophone work of Jorgen Munkeby. Even with the high number of collaborative influences, “Eremita” proves to be a very cohesive album.

The effective levels of compositional arrangements are rather high, given that we’re dealing with an artist who has a lot of experience under his belt. From the start, “Eremita” begins with immediate alternating picked-guitar techniques combined with the wise and never overdone drum work of Tobias Andersen. Soaring black metal vocals enter in and out with varying moments of clean vocals. The progressive tendencies are immediately apparent within two minutes as the assault of distortion and solo drops to cleans, where the cohesive keyboard work of Ihsahn joins the solemnity of its purpose. These descriptive-progressive techniques are cool even in written form but it’s important to realize the tag of progression is being fondled with from time to time throughout this album when certain moments are forced upon the listener, instead of a seem less transition. This is where the integrations of the metal characteristics take their light. At times you’ll hear thick riffs that jump into tremolos, then transition into choral arrangements and infused melodies, such as on “The Paranoid” and “Introspection”. Even though there are moments of non-progression mixed with its opposite, each musical transistion still works cohesively, which points to the skill and fore-thought of Tveitan’s musical approach.

The collaborations of saxophonist Munkeby adds a bit of air lift to the common metal and progressive notions. Although his additions are present throughout “Eremita”, he tends to stand out quite a bit on “The Eagle and the Snake” and the closer “Departure”; where his amalgamations roll in as a dawdling assault, blending in an atmosphere that is very unique yet desirable, so as to break the monotony of conventionalism. The guest appearances of Loomis, Townsend, and Ihsahn’s wife are noticeable but clearly not a highlight. It seems their inclusions were part of a past relationship matter where past favors were being returned.

The characteristics of the first half of “Eremita” are distinguishable in track nature while the second half tends to commence more towards Emperor’s works off Prometheus in “Something Out There” while still holding onto elements of what Ihsahn is known for; being lush choral arrangements and minimalistic guitar riffs. The key moments of conclusion to Ihsahn’s latest effort is in the “The Grave” where his expressions of depressive lyrics, following suites of digging a grave and all that follows, complementing the barrage of instrumental build ups to a halting falling of atmospheric destitution. We are finally left with the contrasting sounds of “Departure” where unconventional saxophone lightings linger in the haze of solitude.

While cohesive and very solid, Ihsahn’s 4th attempt could explore further into uncharted emotions and make rise to further levels of enjoyment. We are gifted with a solid release that is well above average but still seems to call out for something more; almost saying “use me to my full potential”, “take me further”. It is because of these voids that leave “Eremita” hoping for classic status but still pointing towards something that could be so much more. The enjoyability levels are still here and any fan of Vergard Sverre Tveitan’s work would do well to give this release a solid chance.



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user ratings (172)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Kyle Ward STAFF (3.5)
Soundscapes collide and instruments wail as Ihsahn shows what he is capable of, and what is lingerin...


Comments:Add a Comment 
seedofnothing
June 20th 2012


3425 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Excellent review, POS. I fully agree with the rating. feature requested.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2012


4466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I ordered this online, hopefully it comes soon. good review.

POS'd

SteelErectedb4you8er
June 20th 2012


2620 Comments


Good review Capt. I need to listen to this. I loved After and it still holds up to me...I will listen to it now!

SteelErectedb4you8er
June 20th 2012


2620 Comments


So far, I am digging it. I dig the organized chaos and how it all fits together..at least to my ears...it works.

SteelErectedb4you8er
June 20th 2012


2620 Comments


Yeah, it is almost Ihsahn's MO to instruct organize chaos. However, as far as his solo albums, he has nailed it with After and this one. The Adversary and AngL were decent, but he was still finding his voice as a solo artist, in my opinion.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2012


7503 Comments


I wasn't a fan of After, but I might check it out. Good review!

Digging: Hawk Eyes - Everything Is Fine

FictionalFlames
June 20th 2012


1528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If I'm not mistaken there might be a staff review for this.

Tyrael
June 20th 2012


20988 Comments


Yes

Kyle has a positive review prepared for this

FictionalFlames
June 20th 2012


1528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

a review of Eremita that is in a positive tone, kind of like yours.

FictionalFlames
June 20th 2012


1528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2012


10701 Comments


Downloaded this but have not listened. Expecting it to be solid.

Digging: Imperial Triumphant - Abyssal Gods

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2012


16634 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agree with the rating, still have to stop being busy/lazy and write my review for this.

Digging: Drudkh - Microcosmos

Willie
Moderator
June 20th 2012


16186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I wasn't but Crysis is lagging.

Digging: Moonspell - Extinct

SteelErectedb4you8er
June 20th 2012


2620 Comments


Hell yeah, man! Cheers!

Oxyjuanahol
June 20th 2012


5 Comments


With Adversary and AngL Ihsahn wore his influences on his sleeve (70's prog and Mercyful Fate worship). With After and Eremita we finally hear Ihsahn find his style.

Willie
Moderator
June 20th 2012


16186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm re-listening to this right now and I really like it.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2012


16634 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I wasn't but Crysis is lagging.




Apologies

Willie
Moderator
June 20th 2012


16186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You don't have to apologize. These are all volunteer positions. I was just trying to save the initial feature for you.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2012


16634 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's all good, Captain wrote a good review so he deserves it.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2012


16634 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No problem. This album definitely did take a while before I formed an accurate opinion of it, perhaps more so than his other releases.



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