Let me preface this by saying this is the first album I’ve reviewed here that I will trash openly. Most of my reviews are for good albums and releases that I’m impressed with. This is neither. So read on!
Yes, I’m aware of Vegard Sverre Tveitan’s legacy as the supposed muse to Norwegian Metal acts but you can only rest on your laurels for so long. Ihsahn’s new album After is a perfect example of what is fucking wrong and lame in modern prog rock; trying to stuff 12 pounds of shit into a 1 pound bag. Pick a direction, pick a genre and if you’re going to mix genres and experiment, do something meaningful. Oh and fuck a saxophone.
I’d be keen to hear more work along the lines of The Adversary, or Angl, Ihsahn’s two previous albums. At least you know what to expect. After plays like a schizophrenic Norwegian’s metal nightmare. The one thing that remains from the fallen dust that is Emperor’s early days is Ihsahn’s signature riffs and keyboard skillz. Granted, his modern vocals can’t touch his previous work with Emperor, but that’s another story. WWED? What would Euronymous do?
Read the rest of the review below…
The first two tracks, “The Barren Lands” and “A Grave Inversed” are too prog for my liking; followed by the title-track “After”, a real snooze. “Frozen Lakes On Mars” begins with an epic riff and some well-orchestrated keyboards and drums. It’s almost engaging. Almost. It maintains a great amount of momentum until Ihsahn’s balls freeze. Then it turns into Hot Topic x AFI x 1990’s mall metal garbage.
“Undercurrent”, the 10 minute bore-fest, is a pain to get through. I really want to experiment with Ihsahn’s song structure. Maybe if I chopped out all the jock-rock singing and prog riffs, it would be a good album? That’s the only thing that’s making me appreciate it in the slightest. “Austere” and “Heavens Black Sea” continue suite and ultimately, After dies at “On the Shores”. A kind of NYPD Blue metal homage.
Maybe that’s what I’ll call this genre of music, Blue Metal. Ihsahn and Sigh should make a collabo band called “iSIGH”. I can’t even begin to see why people are hailing this as an accomplishment. How did one of the founding voices of Emperor produce such a waste of 53 minutes? Oh and fuck a saxophone.
Released: January 2010
Style: Progressive Black Metal
01. The Barren Lands
02. A Grave Inversed
04. Frozen Lakes On Mars
07. Heavens Black Sea
08. On The Shores
Read more commentary from this review on the Mishka Bloglin.