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Ihsahn Interviews and Features

Below are our features and interviews with Ihsahn.


Ihsahn Takes A Musical Detour On New Album

Buried for many years, the seminal Norwegian black metal band Emperor will be resurrected from the dead in 2014 to perform a series of festivals.

With those appearances on the horizon, I got in touch with Emperor member and solo artist Ihsahn to discuss the limited activity - he insists it's not a reunion - celebrating the 20th anniversary of "In The Nightside Eclipse."

While black metal fans have that to look forward to, on the more imminent horizon Ihsahn is also due to drop his latest solo effort "Das Seelenbrechen" at the end of the month (reviewed here).

Rather than continuing the sound hear on albums like "AngL" or previous full-length "Eremita," this experimental release instead goes in entirely new directions. During our chat Ihsahn elaborated, "so for many reasons I thought before I continue my solo work with a full-on metal album again, I would have to do a detour and do something from a different mindset and perspective before I continue. The album is not a new direction, it’s a deliberate sidestep before I continue."

Find out more about the creation of "Das Seelenbrechen," Ihsahn's collaboration with Devin Townsend and Serj Tankian for Revolution Harmony, and his appearance on the upcoming God of Atheists album in the full interview below. More...

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An Interview With Filmmaker David Hall

The Maryland Deathfest (MDF) is arguably the biggest yearly metal festival in the United States. For four days over the course of a weekend in late May, over 50 bands and thousands of metal heads descend to Baltimore, Maryland. On its 11th year, the festival has grown into something that can rival the best that Europe has to offer.

This year features Venom, Ihsahn, Down, Pig Destroyer, and dozens of other noteworthy acts. For the past few years, MDF has been documented by filmmaker David Hall. He is preparing to release the final chapter of his MDF film trilogy just in time for this year’s festival. I had a chance to talk to Hall about ending the MDF film series and what the festival means to him. More...

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Ihsahn Talks New Album "Eremita" And Past Projects

Forged in the fires of early Norwegian black metal and tempered by avant-garde projects like Peccatum, extreme metal icon Ihsahn will soon be releasing a fourth excursion titled "Eremita," which combines all his previous influences and takes the music on to the next level.

Fans still have a little over a month of waiting before getting to pick up "Eremita," so to tide over our readers and increase anticipation for the forthcoming release, I spoke with the band mastermind himself about what went into the creation of "Eremita." Over the course of our discussion, Ihsahn explained his creative process for making a new concept that eventually becomes an album, and shared his feelings on how fans should interpret the music however they want and make it their own.

Check out the full interview below, in which Ihsahn not only covers the upcoming new release, but also delves into his past to discuss projects like Thou Shalt Suffer, the fiddle experiment of Hardingrock, and working with his wife in StarofAsh. More...

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Leprous Talks About Gear, Recording In A Church

The five talented Norwegian lads backing Ihsahn at ProgPower USA had actually played at the previous year’s ProgPower already. Vocalist/keyboardist Einar Solberg, drummer Tobias Ørnes Andersen, bassist Rein Blomquist, guitarist Øystein Landsverk, and guitarist Tor Oddmund Suhrke comprise the daring anomaly known as Leprous. Now returning sophomores of the festival, the band found themselves playing a whirlwind of black and prog metal behind the former Emperor frontman.

In MetalUnderground.com’s previous interview with Leprous, we tackled their latest CD, “Bilateral (reviewed here,)” and the band’s connection to Ihsahn. Because we were at the ProgPower festival, I thought it’d be nice to pick the band’s collective brain about progressive music, music gear, and some other things. As we sat down at the Artmore hotel courtyard down the street from the venue, I could sense that the band was eager to get back on stage, having just played the night before. They were also quite eager to talk. The interview is below. More...

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Leprous Talks New Album "Bilateral"

Norwegian metal sons Leprous have seen their brand of progressive rock-meets-metal gaining traction in the scene lately, with new material coming out soon and recently reaching a wider audience by acting as solo artist Ihsahn's backing band.

"Bilateral," the band's third full-length, sees official release at the end of the month and will be a must-have for fans of prog rock or avant-garde metal. In anticipation of the coming opus, Leprous vocalist / keyboardist Einar Solberg got in touch with Metalunderground.com to discuss the sound of the album, working with Ihsahn in the studio, and appearing on the latest StarOfAsh album as a guest musician.

Einar also shared his thoughts on the band's changes over three albums, and how the recent terrorist attack in his native Norway has affected the Norwegian people. More...

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Free Metal Music Recap For March Is Metal

Over the past couple of weeks, we've reported on numerous free label samplers and compilations, not realizing that most have been in appreciation of March Is Metal Month.

EMI Music’s Label Services is bringing metal to the masses with their “March is Metal” campaign with retailers across the US. The retail campaign includes promotions from such legendary labels as Century Media, Nuclear Blast, Earache and Candlelight along with Season of Mist, Willow Tip, Crash Music, Prospect Park and Capitol.

Along with the sampler, which includes tracks from Lacuna Coil, Five Finger Death Punch, Fear Factory, White Wizzard, Ihsahn, Gama Bomb, The Atlas Moth, Queensryche, Exodus and Arsis along with hotly anticipated pre-release tracks from Triptykon and Defeated Sanity, ELS and Caroline will also offer a limited edition T-shirt designed by Rich Hall and the MMM logo will appear on the Testament/ Exodus tour poster as a sponsor for the tour. They also sponsored “Full Metal Texas” at this year’s SXSW.

"EMI Label Services and Caroline Distribution have the privilege of working with the best labels in the Metal genre. The annual 'March is Metal Month' campaign is a platform for us to expose the great repertoire from these partners to both the trade and consumer alike,” stated Dominic Pandiscia SVP / GM of EMI Label Services and Caroline Distribution.

During the month of March, Amazon.com has a nice metal sale in their MP3 store with loads of great albums for download for $6.99 each, including most of Megadeth's Capitol-era releases, the latest albums by Pelican, Orphaned Land, Devin Townsend, Lacuna Coil, and many more.

And while we're at it, let's recap the many samplers made available for free download this month. Here are several from Amazon.com, which unfortunately are only available to those in the United States:

Here are a couple more freebies from Amazon.com as a bonus: More...

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An Interview With Ihsahn

Ihsahn has been one of the figureheads of black metal for almost two decades. From his time with the mighty Emperor to his current solo project, the frontman has had a hand in some of the best albums in black metal history. On his third solo album, “After,” Ihsahn incorporates unfamiliar elements into his core sound, including eight-string guitars and saxophone melodies. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ihsahn about the new album, illegal downloading, and the possibility of touring the US. More...

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