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THE METAL OBSERVER - Review - IHSAHN - The Adversary

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Ihsahn - The Adversary (9,5/10) - Norway - 2006

Genre: Progressive Metal / Black Metal
Label: Candlelight Records
Playing time: 50:00
Band homepage: Ihsahn


  1. Invocation
  2. Called By The Fire
  3. Citizen
  4. Homecoming
  5. Astera Ton Proinon
  6. Panem Et Circenses
  7. And He Shall Walk In Empty Places
  8. Will You Love Me Now?
  9. The Pain Is Still Mine
Ihsahn - The Adversary

The EMPEROR farewell album “Prometheus” was a cold, indigestible chunk which I haven’t digested until today. In my opinion, the album was too sterile, technical and negative. That’s why I welcome the solo album of the mind of emperor, Ihsahn. Not because it’s like EMPEROR, but because it’s much more multifaceted und melodic, too. I just need melodies and there are a lot of them on “The Adversary“. The songs seem to be quite complex, but really get stuck in my ear.


The opener “Invocation” already manifests furiousness and also dreamy Prog passages in one song. Everything conclusively merges. “Called By The Fire” even starts with an original riff by MERCYFUL FATE, and the upcoming singing really sounds like KING DIAMOND, but then becomes rather cawy to get very melodic in the chorus, and the high passages aren’t omitted neither. Of course, an old fan of Metal in the manner of a codger definitely likes it. A song made by the gods. Who would have expected something like this? “Citizen” totally sounds like EMPEROR with clanking blasting, disharmonious riffing and an amazing piano/guitar interlude. Whoaa! That’s really imperial stuff! In „Homecoming”, you will find yourself in the seventies, concerning the mood. A spacy trip is set to music in a quiet and relaxed manner which really astonishes me. Though, that Norwegian takes the cake by the final track „The Pain Is Still Mine“, an insane Prog Rock song with thousands of twists und cool melodies and riffs and ideas without and end…


So, what does the master of notes rather want? Black Metal, Hippie Space Rock, Old School Metal, or all in all? Many critics will probably accuse him of that. Though, I don’t have any problems with these circumstances, pigeonholes don’t interest me. The entire opus is what is interesting to me - I am ardent! In order not to bore you at all, I’m going to spare describing each song. As the album is off its trolley and will probably be too much for most Metal freaks, I leave it out. It’s too melodic and progressive for fans of Extreme Metal – it will be too heavy for fans of Prog Metal and for me, it’s best! 


EMPEROR as an entity were fucking great – IHSAHN in his solo attempt is even better! (Online June 7, 2006)

Ralf Henn

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