After leaving his career with Emperor more than 10 years ago, frontman Ihsahn has recorded three solo albums that went in a different direction of what Emperor used to be. His last one After was a bit controversial, because of his experimentation with jazz and the use of saxophones.
This year he returns with Emerita (hermit) a nine track album that opens with Arrival a very groovy track with progressive and avant-garde elements and a great collaboration with Einar Soldberg (Leprous) on clean vocals. The Paranoid is a blackened song that carries the tradition of Emperor all over it, speed, power, desperation. Great reminiscence of a glorious past. Introspection is a melodic track, very soft and guitar oriented that also presents the talent of Devin Townsend on clean vocals. The Eagle And The Snake, is the continuation and expansion of Ihsahn experimentation with saxophone, that it actually opens a new direction in the album, Jeff Loomis (ex-Nevermore) recorded a great solo on this song that gives a bit of technicality and progression to it. Catharsis is exactly what the name means, a catharsis of sounds, a really slow track full of musical textures that gives a different mood to the album.
Something Out There is one of the most epic tracks of this album, the keyboards are just amazing, and the guitar riffs will be on your head the whole day. Grief is an instrumental symphonic track that adds a bit of suspense to the album that at the same time acts as a sinister break point on it. The Grave is a rendition of progressive awesomeness, the power that the saxophone gives to this song can’t be challenged, and fits the whole experiment pretty well. Emerita closes with Departure a very catchy song that works like a roller coaster, at first is really slow, then gets heavy and all of a sudden just drop you to a slow part only to lift you up to the heavy section again.
Emerita, is a new direction on which Ihsahn takes his musical experiment, again the saxophone creates new musical textures that believe it or not fits really well with the heaviness of the music. Overall is a combination of everything that Ihsahn have done from Emperor, Peccatum and his previous solo albums, a good pick if you want to open your mind to something new and different.
2. The Paranoid
4. The Eagle And The Snake
6. Something Out There
8. The Grave