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This is Ihsahn’s fourth solo album and as everyone would expect from this mastermind, “Eremita” is a metal record anyone out there should listen.

In his personal carrier Ihsahn’s music is firmly placed in the realm of progressive black metal, and progressive it is because when he lets his creativity take control, nothing can go wrong. From the compositions that have so many aspects and always covered with a veil of mysticism and black majestic soundscapes to the exemplary production with this cold character that helps his songs to sound even more obscure.

Having by his side drummer Tobias Ørnes Andersen (from Leprous that last year were his live band members) the dialogue of instruments and drums sounds even more interesting and also seems that Ihsahn has found some new regular partners in the face of Leprous’ band members as his music flows so amazingly sweet with these guys by his side! The third “member” on “Eremita” would certainly be Shining’s Jørgen Munkeby on the familiar saxophone, as he’s found in so many tracks and he actually gives Ihsahn’s compositions this crazy progressive jazzy aspect that makes you think that any other instrument would feel less fit than the sound of sax.

As he did on some past records here Ihsahn also has some friends that appear on the album to gibve it an even more big interest. First of all Jeff Loomis on the shredding guitar solo of “The Eagle and the Snake” , followed by the vocal genius of Devin Townsend on “Introspection”. And of course Einar Solberg from Leprous singing some parts on opening track “Arrival”and Heidi S. Tveitan (Ihsahn’s wife and Peccatum bandmate) singing some parts on track “Departure”. While that may be an ill omen for folks of lesser compositional ability, Ihsahn works wonders with making the efforts seem absolutely fluid and natural. The fact that Einar Solberg provides guest cleans on “Arrival” is something that doesn’t stand out as odd when listening to the track – and that is exactly how guest appearances should be while Heidi Tveitan breaks the mold with fantastic female cleans to close out the album.

I have to point out that, after so many listening sessions there seem to be no two songs that sound quite alike on this record, and that is what makes the album so wonderful to listen to. Thankfully, the incorporation of influences from jazz, avant-garde, and progressive all help these songs to surface as a great mixture of seemingly differnt music styles…

Ihsahn remains a venerable figure within the metal scene, showing with each passing album that he has no intentions of slowing down or taking a break. “Eremita” can be described simply with the word excellent, especially given the quality of the guest performances and the sheer creative vision that Tveitan holds within himself. Open your ears and close your eyes… Swim through “Eremita” wake up and press -play- once more.

Track List Line Up
01. Arrival
02. The Paranoid
03. Introspection
04. The Eagle and the Snake
05. Catharis
06. Something Out There
07. Grief
08. The Grave
09. Departure
10. Recollection
Ihsahn – vocals, guitar, bass, keyboard
Tobias Ørnes Andersen – drums
Jorgen Munkeby – saxophone

Guest Musicians

Jeff Loomis – guitar solo on “The Eagle and the Snake”
Devin Townsend – vocals on “Introspection”
Einar Solberg – vocals on “Arrival”
Heidi Tveitan – vocals on “Departure”