Candlelight Records has set a January 26, 2010 North American release date for "After", the new album from former EMPEROR vocalist/guitarist Ihsahn.
Recorded during the first half of 2009, "After" completes the musician’s planned trilogy of initial recordings. The CD showcases the Norwegian icon with drummer Asgeir Mickelson (SPIRAL ARCHITECT), bassist Lars K. Norberg (SPIRAL ARCHITECT), and saxophonist Jorgen Munkeby (SHINING).
"This is my first album written with eight-string guitars as basis which has been both challenging and inspiring," Ihsahn states about the creative process. "I also decided early on that I wanted to mix this album with Jens Bogren (OPETH, KATATONIA) and recorded the album with that in mind. Asgeir and Lars have again delivered superb performances. I've always wanted to implement the saxophone in my music; Jorgen's contributions truly added a silver lining to the album."
Recorded at Ihsahn's own Symphonique Studio, with additional work at Toproom Studio (co-engineered by Borge Finstad), "After" was meticulously laid out over an eight-month period. The intensity of the project has more than paid off with early listenings already proclaiming it to be the most poignant creations of his solo efforts. "I have felt more confident and more at ease with the material," relays Ihsahn. "In letting the songs themselves lead the way I just followed the natural impulses."
"After" track listing:
01. The Barren Lands
02. A Grave Inversed
04. Frozen Lakes On Mars
07. Heavens Black Sea
08. On The Shores
Ihsahn played his first-ever concert as a solo artist, supporting OPETH at Rockefeller in Oslo, Norway on March 10. He stated about the gig, "I felt well prepared for the show, and luckily all technical aspects worked out to our advantage, so that the overall experience for me and my band was extremely positive. The feedback from the audience was amazing, and many thought that the songs gained an extra dimension by being performed in a live setting."
Ihsahn's setlist was as follows:
02. Called By The Fire
07. Thus Spake The Nightspirit
Ihsahn was supposed to support OPETH for the majority of shows on the Swedish band's Norwegian tour in March. However, more detailed production planning revealed technical and practical difficulties at many of the smaller venues, and it proved nearly impossible for Ihsahn to play any of the other dates on the trek.