Ihsahn
Pharos


3.0
good

Review

by MaryBabko USER (8 Reviews)
September 13th, 2020 | 11 replies


Release Date: 09/11/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A brief yet intriguing listen

Having moved far beyond his black metal routes, experimenting with progressive sounds whilst still retaining the dark crushing atmospheric sound of his heyday, Emperor legend Ihsahn seems incapable of letting up. The Autumn of 2020 has seen the release of his new EP, Pharos, and it shows off remarkable consistency.

By comparison with the harsh otherworldly feel of his earlier works, Pharos exists within a much more relaxed realm, with far more accessible music on display here than anything he has worked on before. In fact, this release could actually be compared with radio music rather than his extreme metal and progressive back catalogue, with Spectre At The Feast containing catchy choruses and chilled out trip hop beats. A keyboard driven cover of Manhatten Skyline is a standout here, feeling utterly at home in a release that feels almost out of place even within this musicians repertoire. Losing Altitude is another cover, driven by synths, and sounds very pleasant. There are three original songs on this EP, and they are all very pleasant listens, feeling a lot more relaxing than anything ever released by Ihsahn before. This is a short, to the point experiment in a softer sound that succeeds, without ever truly excelling. Definitely worth a listen, as something unique within a back catalogue of great work.

The faults here are perhaps restricted to the stripped down nature of the EP. Whilst this is only a very short foray into a new sound that was intended to be the inverse of the EP released earlier this year, the songs all blend into one and as such the EP lacks real memorability. It is good for what it is, and a release I recommend listening to, but certainly nothing worth spending hard earned cash on.



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user ratings (25)
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
MaryBabko
September 13th 2020


440 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I apologise if there isnt a whole lot of substance to this review. To be honest, outside of the "it's safe and accessible", I havent much to say for it.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2020


21288 Comments


Little typo in "Manhatten Skyline" !

I would also recommend putting track names between "" so they don't blend with the rest of the text, and album names we usually go with italics. You can check how to use that and other BBC code stuff here: https://www.sputnikmusic.com/forums/misc.php?do=bbcode

And finally, when you write "Losing Altitude is another cover, driven by synths, and sounds very pleasant. There are three original songs on this EP, and they are all very pleasant listens" ... this shows you had not much to say about the album or that you didn't research much about it. My advice, if you can't really come up with anything to say about the album, do a quick google search about facts from either the band or the recording, who's the producer, where was it recorded, what wass Ihsahn doing when he recorded this album, what are the circusmtances surrounding this release? etc, etc

I know you usually ask for feedback so I hope this helps! Apologies if I sound too harsh, just trying to help ;)

It's nice to see you taking on recent releases, keep it up!

Digging: Iress - Flaw

Lalka
September 14th 2020


162 Comments


Is Losing Altitude a cover?

Trifolium
September 14th 2020


18408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hype! Checking now! Enjoying it so far, really looking forward to the Portishead cover HMMM!

Thanks for reviewing this, no Ihsahn should be without its own thread.



''Is Losing Altitude a cover?''

I don't think so. His official YouTube says composition and lyrics are by Vegard S. Tveitan, which is The Man Himself, Ihsahn.

Trifolium
September 14th 2020


18408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Losing Attitude is nice, Spectre At The Feast is nicer, Pharos is amazing, Roads is PORTISHEAD! and it's weird to not hear Beth, but it's nicely done, and Manhattan Skyline was alright. Really great EP overall, better than Telemark I think.



This guy can do no wrong for me.

Egarran
September 14th 2020


18130 Comments


Nice review (but also what Dewi said), just wondering why you have two rankings for this.

Digging: Be'lakor - Of Breath and Bone

OmairSh
September 15th 2020


16932 Comments


I'm guessing it's somewhere between a 2.5 and 3. I sometimes do the same

Digging: Elliott Smith - Elliott Smith

Egarran
September 15th 2020


18130 Comments


It seems slightly neurotic

MaryBabko
September 15th 2020


440 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Overall it's a 2.5 for me, but being objective it's a 3

Beardog
September 16th 2020


3747 Comments


Nice EP

MaryBabko
September 16th 2020


440 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Meh its okay



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