Ihsahn - Eremita

Ihsahn Eremita cover
Candlelight Records
Undeniably, Ihsahn is a respectful member of the Norwegian black metal scene. Emperor was among the best black metal bands coming from Norway so those who had followed the band know what to expect from him. Of course, he did involve in some projects like Peccatum, Thou Salt Suffer & Zyklon-B among others, throughout his career showing that he can blend several music influences into his music.
“Eremita” is his fourth studio release two years after “After”. There some significant guest appearances here such as: Jeff Loomis on guitar, Devin Townsend on vocals, Einar Solberg on vocals & Heidi Tveitan on vocals. Ihsahn is playing almost all the instruments here (guitars, bass, keys) and is also doing the vocals. The drums are being played by Tobias Ørnes Andersen and the saxophone by Jorgen Munkeby. The production, which is great, was done by Ihsahn himself and the mixing of the album by the famed Jens Bogren (Katatonia, Opeth, Kreator, Bloodbath, Soilwork etc.) at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden.
The album has several musical influences from rock, atmospheric, black, extreme, melodic, hard, metal & progressive music while Ihsahn is trying to deliver something quite ambitious and pompous… but in the end, he fails. Why’s that? Well, I think the major problem in “Eremita” is the song arrangements. The songwriting is all over the place whereas some parts do not have a harmonic continuation with some others. It’s like trying to blend several different ideas but without knowing how to do it exactly. The use of the saxophone is sometimes without any reason, offering nothing to some songs rather than unpleasant harmonies. The album opens with the best song, “Arrival”, thing which made me eager to listen to the rest of it… but unfortunately, as long as it kept going… it started becoming rather boring and uninteresting. This is not something I was expecting from Ihsahn generally, and I strongly believe that he can do so much better than this…