After (Ihsahn album)

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After
Studio album by Ihsahn
Released 26 January 2010
Recorded 2009 at Symphonique Studio and Toproom Studio
Genre Progressive metal
Length 53:01
Label Candlelight
Producer Ihsahn
Ihsahn chronology
angL
(2008)
After
(2010)
Eremita
(2012)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
The A.V. Club (unfavorable)[2]
Jukebox:Metal 3/5 stars[3]
PopMatters (8/10)[4]
Rock Sound (9/10)[5]
Thrash Hits (5/6)[6]

After is the third studio solo album by former Emperor frontman Ihsahn. This album is the final album in a planned trilogy of albums by Ihsahn.[7]

Background[edit]

Ihsahn stated that After, as the final album in the trilogy, departed from the preceding albums in order to bring the concept to a close:

For the third album, it has the title After because it is after the conflict. The whole concept is mellower and more laid back and more observant. There is no sign of life in any of the lyrics. It's vaguer in the landscapes. The first line on the first song on the album is, "These are barren lands of fair and cold." Musically and lyrically it's the end of the trilogy, so it's indicating that it's the end of this project in a way.[8]

He further explained that the album was more abstract and possessed links to imagery expressed during his tenure with Emperor:

The first two albums are very niche-inspired and straight to the point. This album is all about what lies underneath all that, the more abstract essences of inspiration that I think have been with me from the start. Just as an example, when finishing the last song on the album, "On The Shores," I found myself having similar images in my head that I had with "With Strength I Burn," off the second Emperor album.[9]

Through the Youtube channel of Mnemosyne Productions, there were three videos released that dealt with the recording of the album. The first video, released on September 9, 2009, focused on Ihsahn recording guitars.[10] The second video, released on November 25, 2009, focused on the recording of the saxophone, drumming, vocals, and videotape.[11] The third and final video was released on January 11, 2010, this time focusing more on the mixing stage of the album.[12]

After is the first album written by Ihsahn in which he utilizes eight-string guitars.[7] The use of a saxophone is also featured, which Ihsahn viewed as standing in lieu of his previous albums' guest vocalists (Garm and Mikael Akerfeldt):

The reason I wanted to do the saxophone was because it was an old idea. I always liked the sound of the saxophone — it's a very solitary instrument. It's also in context with having guest soloists on the previous two albums in the form of vocals, Garm from Ulver and Mikael [Åkerfeldt] from Opeth. I wanted to follow that tradition, but in the concept of the album I didn't want it to be a voice with words. That's why I dug up the old saxophone idea...I think, or at least I hope, it will add to that more epic, open, solitary feeling of After. With Jurgen Munkeby playing it, I definitely think that worked. There was a risk that the saxophone would just be lying on top, almost like a shock effect. That’s really not what I was going for. I really wanted it to blend in a similar way as the orchestral strings and brass sections from the past.[13]

Track listing[14][edit]

All songs written by Ihsahn.

  1. "The Barren Lands" – 5:12
  2. "A Grave Inversed" – 4:25
  3. "After" – 4:47
  4. "Frozen Lakes on Mars" – 5:54
  5. "Undercurrent" – 10:00
  6. "Austere" – 6:16
  7. "Heaven's Black Sea" – 6:15
  8. "On the Shores" – 10:12

Personnel[15][edit]

Production[edit]

  • Arranged & Produced By Ihsahn
  • Recorded & Engineered By Borge Finstad, Ihsahn, Lars Norberg (Bass) & Asgeir Mickelson (drums, percussion)
  • Mixed & Mastered By Jens Bogren

References[edit]

  1. ^ Freeman, Phil. "After review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Pierce, Leonard (13 January 2010). "After review". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Archived from the original on 16 January 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  3. ^ Andy Lye (2010). "Jukebox:Metal review". 
  4. ^ Begrand, Adrien (19 January 2010). "The Life Aquatic with Ihsahn". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 21 January 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Burt, Jim (28 January 2010). "Album: Ihsahn - After". Rock Sound. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  6. ^ Gibbons, Tom (21 January 2010). "Album: Ihsahn - After". Thrash Hits. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Ihsahn: More Footage From The Studio Posted Online blabbermouth.net. 2009-11-25. Retrieved on 2010-01-09.
  8. ^ O'Hagar, Sammy (3 February 2010). "Ihsahn: The MetalSucks Interview". MetalSucks. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  9. ^ Marsicano, Dan (23 February 2010). "An Interview With Former Emperor Frontman Ihsahn". Metal Underground. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  10. ^ IHSAHN_After_Studio 1 on YouTube. 2009-09-09. Retrieved on 2010-01-09.
  11. ^ IHSAHN_After_Studio 2 on YouTube. 2009-11-25. Retrieved on 2010-01-09.
  12. ^ IHSAHN_After_Studio 3 youtube.com 2010-01-14. Retrieved on 2010-01-15.
  13. ^ Smith, Jonathan (25 January 2010). "Bringing New Energy Back to the Barren Lands: An Interview With Ihsahn". Hellbound. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  14. ^ After by Ihsahn amazon.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-09.
  15. ^ Ihsahn: 'After' E-Card Available blabbermouth.net. 2009-12-30. Retrieved on 2010-01-09