Shapeshifting progressive metal pioneer Ihsahn has announced an exclusive set at Munin Live, streaming from his hometown of Notodden on Sunday, April 4 at 7pm BST/8pm CET/2pm ET.
Once again pushing the boundaries of unconstrained creation, the Norwegian master of the avant-garde will premiere both of his latest critically acclaimed EPs “Telemark” and “Pharos” in their entirety, including tracks that have never been performed live before. The set will also include excerpts from “Das Seelenbrechen,” and feature Einar Solberg from Leprous.
Get tickets here.
Having returned to that early black metal sound on “Telemark,” Ihsahn was due to perform at Norway’s Inferno Festival in April 2020, followed by a series of live concerts and festival appearances that would showcase his more extreme work. Canceled due to the pandemic, he says. “We couldn’t wait to perform the last EP. I even ordered stage props with David Thiérrée‘s illustrations. The plan was to do ‘Telemark’ shows through the summer and focus in on my black metal roots. And then as a counterpart, I wanted to do a different show based on the more mellow, experimental side of what I do, trying to connect the two forms together.”
He continues, “For many years, I felt that I should do something purely black metal again,” explaining how this eventually led to the abstract basis behind “Telemark” and “Pharos.” “However, I would feel very limited by that in the form of an album,” the artist shares. “And then I would have wanted an outlet for the opposite. I’ve done the full black metal thing in the past but I’m also not a pop artist. I think it would be hard for me to fill an album within that format. This has been a challenge of limiting myself to a certain expression.”
In 2020, Ihsahn released two five-track EPs via Candlelight Records, inspired by and dedicated to his home county of Telemark.
The first, “Telemark” EP, represents the dark, brutal and aggressive side of Ihsahn‘s compositional identity. With three new original songs and two ferocious cover versions, it represents a celebration of the defiant spirit that first inspired him to follow a creative path, forming Emperor, three decades ago.
The second, “Pharos” EP, is the light to Telemark’s dark. “Pharos” features three original compositions and two covers: A delicate but true-to-the-original version of “Manhattan Skyline” by Norway’s own pop progenitors A-ha (featuring Leprous frontman Einar Solberg on vocal duties) and the haunting “Roads,” originally by British trip-hop collective Portishead. Recorded at his home studio, with additional drums by Tobias Solbakk at Jukes Joint Studio, “Pharos” is musically and conceptually a reverse image of “Telemark.”
Full Ihsahn merch options are available here.