Album Review By Adam McCann
Candlelight Records/Experimental/Progressive Metal/Black Metal
Since the turn of the millennium, Norwegian black metal titans Emperor have been on and off as to whether they are active or not. When Emperor are generally ‘off’, band leader and composer Ihsahn spends his time working on his eponymous solo project delivering a consistent output of albums over the last 15 years. Unfortunately, the most recent of these outputs was the lukewarmly received 2016 album Àmr, but, this year has Ihsahn returning to release their first EP ‘Telemark’.
For an EP, ‘Telemark’ gives a decent snapshot into what Ihsahn are planning at the moment. For fans of Emperor, there are some touches of classic black metal, but these are pretty much few and far between; typically, ‘Telemark’ focuses upon the more experimental side of music with this EP containing plenty of horn arrangements. These arrangements, however, are not delivered in a symphonic style a la Dimmu Borgir or Cradle of Filth, instead, these horns are placed in melodic short bursts following the actual melody, giving this EP a rather rock and pop feel. This can be seen during tracks ‘Stridig’ and ‘Nord’. Furthermore, with ‘Telemark’, Ihsahn show that they are not entirely serious with this EP containing two covers; one of Iron Maiden’s ‘Wrathchild’ and another of Lenny Kravtiz’s ‘Rock and Roll is Dead’. The former is a black metal workout of a Maiden classic, whereas the latter is an interesting attempt at something a little different and whilst it is out of the comfort zone of Ihsahn, it definitely suits the sound and the cover is done justice.
‘Telemark’ is an interesting EP, it shows Ihashn stepping out and doing something a little fun, a feeling that wasn’t always thought of with Emperor or within the seriousness of the genre. This EP gives just enough and leaves the listener wanting more; but is it enough to rush out and purchase? Unless you are a hardcore Ihsahn/Emperor fan, probably not.
Rating : 73/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann