Ihsahn - Fascination Street Sessions (2023)


Keeping up with his 2020 tradition of releasing focused EP’s, today we have Ihsahn and his latest opus “Fascination Street Sessions”. As a three song EP, this release nicely showcases his music in a more direct and less cluttered way, allowing the listener to enjoy each track to its fullest, being able to digest all the magical details that Ihsahn puts into his music. We are starting to like this approach to releasing new music, but are running out of space in our shelves thanks to all the different versions you can acquire.

In terms of the actual music, the release opens with “The Observer”, a very engaging and traditional Ihshan sounding music, perfectly blending complexly layered guitars and lush arrangements. Balancing both Extreme Metal and its crafty progressive elements, this opening track is quite engaging and dynamic. With a similar approach, “Contorted Monuments” nicely adds atmospheric elements to simple and yet super catchy guitars, with some excellent leads thrown into the mix.

Keeping the tradition of having covers in his last few EP releases, Ihsahn closes with a cover of Kent’s “Dom andra”. Featuring Jonas Renkse on vocals, this track feels a bit odd, but after a couple of seconds the listener is fully immersed, keeping the original song’s essence while adding some of that Ihsahn magic. While at first we think the covers he has made are a bit odd, after a few spins we have ended up loving them, and this one falls in the same category.

As a whole, “Fascination Street Sessions” is an excellent EP with the only flaw of being too short, at 11 minutes we can hardly justify calling it an EP, but more like a 7”. Regardless of this, Ihsahn delivers high quality music that is expertly arranged (with real instruments) and brilliantly executed. If you are a fan of his solo work, you will certainly find this a great addition to your collection.

Bands: Ihsahn Album: Fascination Street Sessions

Label: Candlelight Records

Release: March 24th, 2023

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Genre: Progressive Extreme Metal

Country: Norway

Rating: 96/100

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