Ihsahn Eremita

Ihsahn Eremita
Like a hermit living in solitude, Ihsahn has utilized his isolation from Emperor well to produce Eremita, his most radical work to date. A deep plunge, with "Arrival," is the perfect introduction, progressing with razor sharp riffs and contrasting vocal styles. As an atmospheric mood is established, Ihsahn experiments with conceptual elements and equally creative collaborators. At first listen, it sounds like Kenny G plays sax on weaving soundscape "The Eagle and the Snake," but it's Jørgen Munkeby, complementing the album with sophistication and intricacy. Devin Townsend delivers Can-con on "Introspection," with insightful vocals, while Jeff Loomis shreds and Ihriel (Ihsahn's better half) sings for graceful measure. "Catharsis" is an antagonistic poem, while "Grief" is the symphonic instrumental interlude before the chaotic "The Grave." Eremita closes with the turbulent "Departure," an aural attack designed to tease the brain. Amid each musical component, both avant-garde and what's expected, lies a clean slate. Ihshan has achieved a crisp balance of turmoil and tranquility, allowing the solitary traveler to come out of his shell. (Candlelight)