On March 19, Marin Soldatić of Metal Jacket Magazine conducted an interview with EMPEROR frontman Ihsahn (real name: Vegard Sverre Tveitan). You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.Asked if he follows today's black metal scene and what his opinion is on it, Ihsahn said: "I don't really follow anything. [Laughs] I guess that was my problem, even at the start. I must admit that it was always my colleague Samoth [guitar] from EMPEROR who had the big network and connections and everything. And I've been kind of tagging along and focusing on doing the music and writing lyrics and all that." He continued: "It's kind of paradox. I mean, this whole black metal scene, with all these rules and kind of fashion police [laughs] coming out from this very individualistic and free-thought type of philosophy. So, for me, I think, in my own mind, what I do now musically is still black metal. For me, it comes from the same source. So, to me, black metal is not a type of guitar sound played at this or this speed with screeching vocals. For me, black metal is an attitude and an atmosphere. For me, Diamanda Galás' 'Plague Mass' is just as black metal as any BATHORY album." Ihsahn's sixth solo album, "Arktis", will be released on April 8. The effort will be available in standard CD, deluxe CD (featuring additional exclusive content), and vinyl formats via Candlelight Records. The album's first single, "Mass Darkness", is available via iTunes and Amazon. It is available for streaming now via Spotify. The Michael Dickinson-created (ORANGE GOBLIN, GALLOWS) lyric video for the song available can be seen below.
"Arktis" was recorded at Ihsahn's studio in Notodden, Norway and was mixed in Sweden by Jens Bogren (OPETH, KATATONIA). The album features ten songs and is the longest and most spirited of Ihsahn's solo recordings. It features guest appearances from Einar Solberg (LEPROUS), Matt Heafy (TRIVIUM), Jorgen Munkeby (SHINING), Tobias Ornes Andersen (SHINING, ex-LEPROUS), and renowned Norwegian author Hans Herbjornsrud. Graphic elements for "Arktis" once again have been provided by award-winning Spanish designer Ritxi Ostariz.