Ihsahn is one of my favorite artists. In my book, he is a musical genius that can do whatever he wants and pull it off. His plan now is to release two EPs with the first one being “Telemark,” named after his hometown. This EP is the heavy one apparently. But it’s still not like Emperor. This is very much along the lines of his first 2 solo albums with a bit of Arktis. mixed in. Here’s a song by song breakdown of the 5 track EP:
Stridig: The main riff reminds me a lot of a Voivod riff. I could definitely hear Piggy playing it. That really works for me! The song itself is aggressive, like a full on onslaught. It transitions to a doomy middle section which is very cool before it goes back to main riff. It’s a great opening track that would sounds great live. The vocals are some of Ihsahn’s most abrasive especially the final moments.
Nord: This track has this rolling riff which is pretty cool and the drums have a swing to them. I could definitely could hear Enslaved doing this. It’s a heavy track and the horns are a nice touch. But what I love about this song is the AWESOME guitar solo!!! It’s near the end and reminds me what a great player Ihsahn is.
Telemark: The title track has a heavy folk riff, that almost sounds like it could be done on bagpipes. It’s a very interesting riff that has a lot of space. There’s an atmosphere to the song while still maintaining it’s heavyness. Then comes the blast beats! What a maelstrom! There are a far amount of twists and turns on this one. Very progressive but over the top. This is another that will translate well in a live setting.
Rock and Roll is Dead: Lenny Kravitz cover. Musically it’s not that much different from the original. Same vibe and groove. But the harsh vocals definitely are the curve ball. But it works. It shows that Ihsahn is fearless and can do anything really. This one was a pleasant surprise! Very enjoyable.
Wrathchild: Iron Maiden cover. This is a more expected cover. It mostly sounds as you might expect. Not much of this is too different other than the horn section which are on most of the EP. The horns add a cool twist to this cover!
Ihsahn has done it yet again. He goes where he wants to go and it’s that sort of authenticity that makes him amazing. He took a major left turn in 2013 with “Das Seelenbrechen” and nailed it. He now is trying something different again with these EPs. “Telemark” is a wonderfully vicious snapshot of a musical genius doing what he does best: creating exciting extreme music!
4. Rock And Roll Is Dead
Release Date: 14 February 2020