Review 1676 : Ihsahn – Fascination Street Sessions – English

You all know Ihsahn.

Whether it is for being the emblematic Emperor frontman, or for his solo project started in 2005, the Norwegian multi-instrumentalist regularly calls upon other musicians to create his universe. In 2023, he announces the release of Fascination Street Sessions, his new EP, on Candlelight Records.

He is accompanied on drums by Tobias Ørnes Andersen (Shining, ex-Leprous).

The EP starts with The Observer, a haunting composition on which the musician welcomes keyboardist and singer Øystein Aadland, bringing a touch of softness which contrasts with the most abrasive riffs where screams appear. The permanent duality gradually releases the fascinating and soaring sounds which skillfully lead us to Contorted Monuments, a more energetic track where we recognize some Black Metal roots, but also this touch of madness characteristic of Prog. The musician’s energy is contagious, but it will calm down on Dom Andra, a cover of the Swedish Pop-Rock band Kent, where he is joined by Jonas Renkse (Katatonia, Bloodbath, ex-October Tide…) for a touch of heady and, let’s admit it, surprising softness, but which respects both universes.

Ihsahn knows how to do everything, and this EP proves it. Between assumed Black Metal roots, haunting technicality and even a Pop-Rock cover, the musician shows us with his guests a very diversified Fascination Street Sessions.


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