IHSAHN — After (review)

IHSAHN — After album cover Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"After" is the 3rd full-lengh studio album by Norwegian progressive metal artist Ihsahn. The album was released through Candlelight Records in January 2010. It´s the successor to "angL" from 2008. All instruments and vocals are handled by Ihsahn, except the drums which are played by Asgeir Mickelson and session musicians Lars K. Norberg and Jørgen Munkeby who perform fretless bass and saxophone.

Stylistically "After" is a natural continuation of the progressive metal sound on "angL (2008)". Ihsahn sings both raw blackened vocals, but also performs strong clean vocals, and the instrumental part of the music is a sophisticated and very dynamic combination of progressive metal/rock and various more extreme metal oriented elements (and the occasional nod towards avant garde). Both the vocal and the instrumental performances on the album are of a high quality and generally just reek class. References to artists like Opeth, Enslaved, and Leprous are valid.

While Ihsahn certainly isn´t the most extreme of artists, there are still some relatively hard-edged moments, and his raw snarling vocals are also pretty rough and probably wouldn´t be easy to appreciate, if you´re not accustomed to extreme metal vocals. The music also features both melodic sections, and some melancholic atmospheric moments though, which should please fans of atmospheric progressive metal/rock. So it´s safe to say the material is varied and loaded with contrasts. Dark/light, loud/quiet, hard-edged/mellow. Ihsahn masters most elements to perfection.

All material on the 8 track, 53:04 minutes long album are well written and memorable. While all tracks are equally strong and nothing is sub par on the album, the 10 minutes long "Undercurrent" is to my ears one of the highlights. "After" features a powerful, clear, and detailed sound production, which suits the material well, and upon conclusion it´s another high quality release by Ihsahn, showing both enough development to keep the fans excited, but also consistency of sound and quality. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
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UMUR wrote:
19 days ago
It´s not really the type of music I listen to often, but quality can´t be denied, and Ihsahn is just one of those rare musical genioses who is hard not to be impressed by.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
19 days ago
I love almost all of his works with Emperor and solo
20 days ago
my favourite of his solo work

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