IHSAHN — The Adversary

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IHSAHN - The Adversary cover
4.04 | 23 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2006

Filed under Progressive Metal


1. Invocation (5:07)
2. Called by the Fire (4:56)
3. Citizen (5:21)
4. Homecoming (4:19)
5. Astera ton Proinon (5:09)
6. Panem et Circenses (4:54)
7. And He Shall Walk in Empty Places (4:51)
8. Will You Love Me Now? (5:03)
9. The Pain Is Still Mine (10:19)

Total Time: 50:04


- Ihsahn / Vocals, Guitars (lead), Guitars (rhythm), Guitars (acoustic), Bass, Keyboards
- Asgeir Mickelson / Drums

- Garm / Vocals (lead) (track 4)

About this release

Mnemosyne Productions
April 10th, 2006

Arranged, produced and mixed by Ihsahn.
Recorded and engineered by Garm (vocals on track 4), Tore Ylwizaker (vocals on track 4), Asgeir Mickelson (drums) and Ihsahn (all other instruments).
Editing by Ihsahn and Asgier Mickelson.
Mastered by Tom Kvålsvoll.

A video was made for "Invocation".

Thanks to bartosso for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"The Adversary" is the debut full-length studio album by Norwegian progressive extreme metal artist Ihsahn (Real name: Vegard Sverre Tveitan). The album was released through Mnemosyne Productions in April 2006. The former Emperor frontman/guitarist busied himself with the Peccatum project with his wife Ihriel (real name Heidi S. Tveitan) after Emperor disbanded in 2001, but then opted to pursue a solo career and decided to name his solo project after his stage name Ihsahn.

The last couple of Emperor albums were increasingly progressive and less black metal oriented compared to the band´s early material and it became more and more obvious that Ihsahn was the member of the band, who pulled Emperor in that direction. While the other members of Emperor went on to form the death metal act Zyklon, Tveitan maintained his progressive approach to writing music both in Peccatum and in Ihsahn. To call the music on "The Adversary" a continuation of the music on "Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise (2001)" (the last Emperor album) is maybe stretching it too far, but some of the progressive elements from the latter mentioned album, have been refined here and put into another context.

Stylistically the music draws on a number of influences and black metal is just one of them. Of course Ihsahn´s raspy vocals will always lead the listener´s thoughts toward black metal, but there are clean vocals on the album too. Mostly sung by Ihsahn but Garm (Real name: Kristoffer Rygg) (Ulver, Borknagar, Arcturus) performs lead vocals on "Homecoming" (which also features Tore Ylwizaker on vocals). Ihsahn create both raw extreme metal parts, epic keyboard heavy parts, beautiful melodic parts and manage to make them work together. The songwriting is very adventurous and it´s obvious Ihsahn has put a lot of thought into creating something unique.

The musicianship is not surprisingly, if you are familiar with any of the output that Ihsahn has been involved in earlier in his career, on a very high level. Other than Garm´s and Tore Ylwizaker´s guest appearances, and the drums which are played by Asgeir Mickelson (Borknagar, Spiral Architect, Vintersorg, ICS Vortex, Sarke), Ihsahn plays and sings everything on the album. At times the sound production and especially the drum sound is a bit thin, but it´s rarely a major issue, and overall the sound production (which Ihsahn is also responsible for) is professional and suits the music well.

"The Adversary" is probably an album that for most listeners require more than one spin to sink in (myself included). This is not full speed ahead bang your head type of metal, even though it´s powerful and raw enough when that is needed. The compositions are generally a bit more clever thought out and performed than the material on your average extreme metal release. So that´s what you get when listening to "The Adversary" (and to Ihsahn in general). A challenging, intriguing listen and a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

Members reviews

Ihsahn strikes out on his own after the demise of his old band, Emperor. This is less extreme than that band but it's still got plenty of welly. Not much could be described as black metal but a couple of songs sound like less carnivorous, chaotically spiralling material from Emperor's last album "Prometheus".

Like "Prometheus", many of the best songs have weird convoluted riffs and harsh vocals before erupting into magestic cleanly-sung choruses or mid-sections, e.g. "Called by the Fire", "Panem et Circensis" and, most spectacularly "Will You Love Me Now?". Despite its title, this song is a towering epic of hatred and disgust. The highlight is the call and response section between the clean and harsh vocals, the clean asking "Will you love me now?" And the harsh spitting venom at the society who will never accept the free-thinker... That's the dominant lyrical theme of this album, disdain for society, using Satan (The Adversary) as a metaphor for those who do their own thing and don't accept the bullshit foisted upon them by the majority. Errr, well that's what it sounds like to me anyway!

The final track "The Pain is Still Mine" deserves a mention too, it's a complex multi-part epic weighing in at over 10 minutes. It mixes brain-busting riffs with a truly bizarre section that sounds like it should be in a musical and Ihsahn going overboard with his synth orchestra.

I came back to this five years after I bought it and I like it a lot more than I did when it came out. Definitely recommended to fans of Emperor, just don't expect it to sound exactly like Emperor!

Originally posted on http://basstunedtodead.wordpress.com

Ratings only

  • Bosh66
  • MorniumGoatahl
  • TheHeavyMetalCat
  • Fant0mas
  • powermetal2000
  • kx1992
  • Immortalis
  • peccatum
  • Stooge
  • Zargus
  • 666sharon666
  • Wilytank
  • progpostman
  • luanpedi
  • Lokus
  • (De)progressive
  • loggerhead
  • Anster
  • adg211288
  • sauromat
  • NorseGangsta

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