CD review IHSAHN ‘Pharos’

‘Pharos’ can be looked at as a single release from Ihsahn, but it actually needs to be looked at in the context of the previous release ‘Telemark’. Both EP’s belong together and they are also set up in a similar way. New Ihsahn songs and a couple of cover versions, that’s what both releases contain but there is a main difference also between the two.

‘Telemark’, released seven months ago, is dark and cold. ‘Pharos’ instead is conceptually the opposite since it’s a bright and light-hearted expression each of the songs carries. It’s a wider and broader perspective ‘Pharos’ reflects, compared to a closer-to-home fundament of the previous EP, rooted in Black Metal

‘Losing Attitude’ is the gentle start of an EP that shows Ihsahn in a wider context than Black Metal. If you expect heavier stuff on this EP than what the opener offers, you might want to consider other releases of the Norwegian Metal veteran. ‘Spectre at the Feast’ and the title track take a similar musical road, combining calmer tones, emotional intensity and great melodies to an irresistible mix we don’t know that much from Ihsahn.

The two cover versions are unusual customers too on an Ihsahn release of which Potishead was certainly the more challenging one, just thinking about vocals. The Norwegian managed it pretty well to Ihsahn-ize the song. The other cover song on the album is ‘Manhattan Skyline’ from A-ha and with some help of Leprous’ Einar Solberg behind the mic, the songs fits perfectly into the context of this release.

Black Metal enthusiasts might not get what they expect from an album under the banner of Ihsahn and ‘Telemark’ serves the needs in a better fashion. The combination of ‘Telemark’ and ‘Pharos’ though shows the width and partly unpredictable musical creativity that reaches us from the Norwegian woods.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Losing Altitude
  2. Spectre At The Feast
  3. Pharos
  4. Roads (Portishead)
  5. Manhattan Skyline (A-ha)

Label: Candlelight

Genre: Progressive Rock

Release Date EU: September 11th,2020

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