Blog Archives

Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #20-16


Top100A while ago, at the same time as Matt and Reggie, I posted my Top 100 All Time Favourite (Metal) Albums over at the forum The History of Metal on FB. It took a good amount of time and effort to put it together, but it was so much fun! My taste in metal is always changing, so the list will not always look the same. In fact, it’s already a bit different than it was when I first put it together and posted it on the forum seven months ago.

I tried to limit myself to three albums per band to make the list a little more diverse and interesting. I don’t really consider the ‘test of time’-factor when selecting what albums that will go on my list, instead I measure it by how strongly the album has affected me emotionally and how much/often it has helped me through both good and bad phases in my life. That’s why you can find quite a few newer releases among my favourites too.

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#20 Ihsahn – angL

I might be considered strange who prefer Ihsahn’s solo albums over his work in Emperor. But who cares, right? By now you all know I’m a sucker for a strong, unique singing voice and Ihsahn is one of a kind. His style of blackened progressive metal includes amazing riffs, dark melodies, relaxing bass lines, vicious screams and thoughtful, poetic lyrics. Like an all-in-one-package. Perfect.

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Proud Monoliths of Metal


220535712973040328_kVQMaV31_cThe other day something caught my attention. I kept seeing the word ‘monolith’ everywhere. Song titles, albums, band names… It popped up when I least expected it, always when I was spending time discovering new bands and albums. I admit, it’s a very good looking word. It feels mysterious and can be used in many different ways. The tall, often erected stone structure is historical, there are many old myths and legends about monoliths, made of one solid piece of rock either shaped by nature or constructed by humans. Maybe the mythical and mystical shape contributes to the fascination we have with these huge rocks?

It made me curious, how many symbolic meanings exist and what are they? How is the symbolism used in song lyrics and album titles?

Something solitary, standing proudly alone. It’s solid and can’t be moved by ordinary men, unaffected by all living creatures. It’s tall, reaches far above and overshadows everything else. Something strong and powerful that can’t and won’t be ignored.

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Maybe these songs below will help in finding more answers..

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Album Review: Eremita by Ihsahn


Having made quite a name for himself in the metal realm as a major contributor to the early Norwegian black metal scene with his highly influential, trail blazing band Emperor and the more experimental Peccatum, Vegard ‘Ihsahn‘ Tveitan is no stranger to making major waves in the metal realm.  Just for his work alone with Emperor, the man is considered legend in some circles, but not being quite content or satisfied with his contribution to the world of music Ihsahn looked to raze new paths in what could be done in metal after his previous bands dissolved.  Working off the experimentation groundwork laid by later Emperor records (of which Ihsahn had written by himself with little to no input from his band mates), 2006’s The Adversary saw the artist refining his own personal sounds and expressions really focusing on heavy ‘progressive metal’ elements.  Each release after showed Vegard making leaps and bounds in his songwriting and performance with each album being a major improvement over the last.  I had thought that Ihsahn had hit his apogee on 2010’s saxophone tinged masterpiece After and it would just be smooth sailing from there.  Well, it looks like there is more than enough creative juice left in the still young pioneer.  Eremita (Latin for ‘Hermit’) has Ihsahn pushing the musical envelope yet again while achieving even tighter and more diverse songwriting skills.

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Full Album Steam: Eremita by Ihsahn


Well this was a nice little surprise today.  Check out the new solo album Eremita by ex-Emperor front man Ihsahn.  I’m about halfway through and it’s kick ass.  Not as mindblowing as After but still really damn good.  Not much more to say other than if you like your black metal really, really proggy you need to check it out.  Also, it sounds like his backing band also known as Leprous, are more prominent as themselves instead as a backing band this time around, I digs it.  Enjoy!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

PS.  AOL album steams usually last about a week, so get on it if you want to check it out before you pick it up (not that a blind purchase of anything Ihsahn is a bad call 😉 ).

PPS.  Lmao- “Sounds like: Daughtry and Metallica”

Click here to go to the steam.

 

Monday Metal Madness: Battle of the Black (Scandinavian Branch Pt.II)


Looks like “Ashes in Your Mouth” is the favorite Countdown to Extinction song.  Well deserving, great track.

A recap on the Battle of the Black polls.  Agalloch and Krallice are the victors in the American branch and will do battle next week as well as the winner of todays poll will face off with Scandinavian branch 1 winner Enslaved.

Taking heavy influence from the legendary BathoryEinherjer craft a kick ass brand of black viking metal.  The band did split back in 2004 after a solid reign during the 90’s, but in 2007 they got back together and released new material in 2011.  They seem to be going strong and lets hope that they’re here to stay.

Ihsahn is from one of the originating black metal bands  Emperor.  They came to an end in 2001 but have gotten together for a few gig here and there since.  To keep himself busy after the break-up, Ihsahn began working on solo projects as well as a plethora of collaborations with other artists.  His solo work keeps to the black metal style but now incorporates more avant-garde/progressive metal elements.  He has already release 3 very solid albums and a new one is due to hit this year.