Ihsahn
Das Seelenbrechen


3.5
great

Review

by oskrr1 USER (2 Reviews)
October 24th, 2013 | 26 replies


Release Date: 10/22/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ihsahn’s “Artistic Sidestep” results in a very good and interesting experimental metal album, but a weak second half is what’s keeping it from being held in really high places.

After 2012’s “Emerita”, Everyone was probably not expecting another release for some considerable time. "Das Seelenbrechen" (The Soul Breaking) was announced around mid-2013, just one year after his last album. Claiming to be a “sidestep” of his musical career, and in need of experimentation or of finding new musical grounds or heights, many people were not sure about what to expect. Ihsahn’s new record does a great job reflecting an artist in need to break away of his own borders through a lot of experimentation, but it loses most of its strength towards the end.

“Hiber” starts off in full force, portraying the typical strong riffs and Ihsahn’s recognized shrieking/screaming, which makes you think this is just another typical album of his. Right after that some soft piano starts, leading into some clean soft vocals that might remind a lot of people to an “Opeth” song. After a couple minutes of this, guitars and symphonic fills suddenly burst with energy, and Ihsahn starts its shrieking once more. The atmosphere set and the unexpected climax made this song a highlight in this album.

“NaCl” keeps up with the pace, with catchy riffs and some instrumentation, while Ihsahn once again leaves out his screaming. “Pulse” starts with some piano, but instead of taking a symphonic road as with “Regen”, this time it goes more into an electronic one. Although being simple, this song shows how diverse Ihsahn tries to be with his experimentation.
Although the song “Tacit 2” was a bit troubling to hear at first, given that it is mostly some drum fills and Ihsahn screaming chaotically for 5 minutes. It did not made any sense, until “Tacit” (yeah, Tacit 2 goes first) rolled in, it was the same song but with the other instruments and fills. This move was highly original and experimental, but might not be convincing for many people.

It’s after this half, when the album doesn’t keep up with how it began. “Rec” seems like it is going to get somewhere, but by just lasting 2 and a half minutes just makes it easy forgettable. Just as with “Sub Alter”. It’s not that the songs are really bad, it’s just that they never get to nowhere or hit their climax. “M” only shines a bit after half the song is in, with some cool Rock-ish guitar solo. “See” leads into more chaotic drums and vocals to end the album, which seems to represent the final step in "The Soul Breaking".

Ihsahn’s experimental abilities showed in this album truly shine and make for a good addition to his discography. The variety of sounds, emotions and ideas are planted solidly in here. However, a strange and weak second half, with songs that never seem to get to nowhere, may drag down the experience.


user ratings (80)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 24th 2013


1922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really can't wait to listen to this album, Ihsahn never seems to disappoint me. Good review, pos.

Digging: Execration (NOR) - Morbid Dimensions

Oneiron
October 24th 2013


195 Comments


The trending rock albums are very, very red

zaruyache
October 26th 2013


7412 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Huh. I didn't know that the Tacits were one song. Listening to both at the same time now and this becomes pretty obvious. Kind of a silly idea, though.

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

oskrr1
October 26th 2013


28 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah i also realized that they were the same song after listening to both for the 2nd time. You are
right, I also thought it wasn't such a bright idea. But Tacit is still a cool song.

DeputyExorcist
October 27th 2013


69 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is really good. I love how the former king of black metal rips a wicked blues solo on "M"

conesmoke
October 30th 2013


5288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's pretty cool yah, good review, NaCl and Pulse were my faves.

Spag
October 30th 2013


1845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Still haven't heard anything but Hiber and NaCl which were awesome. (My rating will probably change) My deluxe edition is still on its way. Fawk

Digging: Power of Omens - Rooms of Anguish

TheBarber
November 2nd 2013


2182 Comments


First Ihsahn album for me and I really dig it, it's just damn diverse and every song rules (safe for Pulse)

Digging: Ulver - Trolsk Sortmetall 1993-1997

Spag
November 2nd 2013


1845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah finally got mine. I'm in a bit of a rage after getting a scratch on the disc the first day and now Hel doesn't even work and Entropie cuts off at 4:35 ish. Gawd Fucking Damn it.

TheBarber
November 3rd 2013


2182 Comments


lol, at least entropie cuts towards it's end

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2013


1922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

For me, this is Ihsahn at his most experimental and progressive. It also seems to be his "lightest" album-that is, the one with less emphasis on extreme metal influences (specifically the lack of harsh vocals and the odd blastbeat here and there) and a stronger focus on dynamic and ambient material. The album is thus split into two halves-The first, a more energetic, more immediate collection of songs, and the second, weirder sounding and more inclusion of other instruments such as the saxophone,etc. It's pretty damn good if I'm honest too, though I very rarely get disappointed by any of Ihsahn's material. Highlights for me are 'Hiber' and 'Tacit'.

DrHouseSchuldiner
November 4th 2013


5643 Comments


Love Ihsahn gotta check this one!

TheBarber
November 4th 2013


2182 Comments


My highlights would be Rgen, M and See

CaptainDooRight
November 10th 2013


30334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

terrible album

TheBarber
November 10th 2013


2182 Comments


Disjointed and incoherent but I like it

CaptainDooRight
November 10th 2013


30334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

previous album that I reviewed was a 3.5 tho

TheBarber
November 10th 2013


2182 Comments


Yeah gonna get that one and After when I'll have the cash, I loved the sax on the tracks I heard

CaptainDooRight
November 10th 2013


30334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ya man that sax is pure sex. No pun intended.

Speaking of sax, the new Exivious has some sweet sax on the track called deeply woven. Not sure if you've heard of or dig them though.

CaptainDooRight
November 10th 2013


30334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Also of you dig this you should check this album I reviewed.

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/54131/Xanthochroid-Blessed-He-With-Boils/

Great band. Solid music and very similar to the work of Ihsahn

Their album is streaming on bandcamp if you're interested.

TheBarber
November 10th 2013


2182 Comments


Not heard of Exivious or Xanthochroid but I guess I'll jam them tonight while working, cheers for the recs cap!



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