Norwegian progressive metal pioneer Ihsahn (EMPEROR) will release a new EP, “Fascination Street Sessions”, on March 24 via Candlelight Records
The first single, “Contorted Monuments“, can be heard below.
Known as a constantly evolving artist who loves to transcend boundaries, Ihsahn’s musical journey has been relentlessly fascinating and frequently revelatory. With his penchant for collaborative projects and fascination with production, this new three-track EP, featuring two new original songs and one cover version, is the direct result of Ihsahn joining forces with URM Academy’s online educational program for music production, and producer/engineer Jens Bogren (OPETH, DIMMU BORGIR, ARCH ENEMY, POWERWOLF) of Fascination Street Studios.
Comments Ihsahn: “I’ve been working with Jens and his team for mixing and mastering for over a decade, but this course spans from pre-production to final master, so I wrote some demos and had Jens be involved from the very start.”
Joining Ihsahn on this project was his longtime drummer Tobias Ørnes Andersen and keyboardist Øystein Aadland, who spent 10 intense days at Fascination Street Studios recording the songs. Aadland also adds warm and gentle lead vocals for the track “The Observer“. while Jonas Renske of KATATONIA recorded guest vocals to the song “Dom Andra“, a cover of a track by Swedish band KENT.
Throughout the whole experience, the URM Academy team captured everything on video, with Jens Bogren adding commentary to the production techniques used, with detail on mic placements, preamps, drumhead tunings, sharing his methodology and drilling down into what goes into a recording such as this.
Ihsahn adds: “The idea was to capture high-end recordings of real instruments in great rooms, and we had an amazing setup for drums, guitars, bass, and even a vintage Hammond organ with Leslie, Wurlitzer, Rhodes, etc., recorded through Fender combos and analogue pedals etc.”
He continues: “This was an amazing experience, and very educational, as I love everything related to music production. Both the Fascination Street and URM teams were incredible, and I believe everyone involved had a great time, in spite of 14–16-hour workdays. I’m very happy with how everything came together and for those interested in the technical aspects of how it was made, there will be a thorough course coming soon at URM Academy.”
“Fascination Street Sessions” EP track listing:
- The Observer (feat. Øystein H. Aadland)
- Contorted Monuments
- Dom Andrea (KENT cover, feat. Jonas Renske)
Since 1991, Ihsahn has defied expectations and pushed boundaries. Launching his solo career in 2006 with “The Adversary”, he has sought to maintain the black metal blueprint that he helped devise with the world-shattering EMPEROR, while mischievously exploring progressive dreamscapes, avant-garde jazz, electronica, darkwave, ear-crushing tech-metal and ambient meditations. Each full-length album has had an element of surprise and delight, where the architect plays out his creative vision by building on an unwavering zeal for the shock and awe that keeps his listeners on their toes.
Photo credit: Bjørn Tore Moen