Ihsahn Das Seelenbrechen

IhsahnDas Seelenbrechen
8
The fifth solo record from multi-instrumentalist/composer Ihsahn plunges into much deeper, stranger waters than the artist has explored previously. While Ihsahn first made a name for himself as the guitarist and vocalist in seminal black metal band Emperor, as a solo artist, he's moved away from that sound towards something more progressive and, increasingly, experimental. A marked break from his last full-length, Eremita, which saw him collaborating with guest musicians like Jeff Loomis, Devin Townsend and saxophonist Jørgen Munkeby, Das Seelenbrechen is a much riskier and vulnerable venture, featuring only drummer Tobias Ornes Anderson (Leprous) and Ihsahn. Inspired by the wild, untethered works of artists like Diamanda Galas, Das Seelenbrechen is built almost entirely upon improvisation, and is by far and away his most avant-garde release to date. What keeps the record anchored, and gives it the core of coherence that keeps it from spiralling into unstructured chaos, is the emotional centre of each song. Built upon a strong theme or feeling, each track has a distinct identity, but is essentially formed the same way. This tactic allows the shuddering vastness of "Hilber," the soaring, elemental collisions of "Regen" and the shallow whispers of "Pulse" to sound like they came from the same galaxy, if not the same solar system. (Candlelight)