Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Ihsahn - Telemark

Ihsahn back writing black metal? When the headlines broke earlier this year people were stoked, and now that I have a copy to listen too - I gotta say I'm impressed. This five song EP which features two covers is a tour de force for Ihsahn. While it certainly touches on dark and frenetic moments of his work with Emperor Telemark also reminds us of his genius with moments of progressive mastery. The quality of the production here is truly stunning and the record shines as proof positive that Ihsahn is simply that good.

Kicking off with a pair of tracks that wouldn't feel out of place on later period Emperor records is a bold way to remind us that Ihsahn is, and always shall remain 'that motherfucker.' The traditional instruments and folk inspired mayhem of the albums focal point, , really serves to cement what this record is all about. Counterbalancing more traditional black metal tracks with a Lenny Kravitz cover of all things was a unique and also visionary choice. The cover of Maiden's Wrathchild felt, in some ways, overdue. Both covers are truly fun offerings and reflect the power of Ihsahn as an arranger capable of re-imagining staples in wholly new and unexpected ways.

Telemark is brash, bold and oftentimes fun. I don't think any of us expected to hear a horn fueled black metal cover of 'Wrathchild' in our lifetimes but here we are. Ihsahn is simply that good that he routinely pulls off crazy shit like this with aplomb. Telemark is a potent statement from a man looking to get back to his roots by writing a record inspired by his home county. It's a look to the past, but also the future, that makes a point of reminding us how we all got to this point in the first place. Ihsahn nailed it again. What more can I say?

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