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The Adversary

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Adversary is the highly anticipated solo debut from former Emperor vocalist/lead guitarist Ihsahn. Recorded at Symphonique Studios in Norway the album already has metal media worldwide clamoring for a listen. All music and lyrics for The Adversaryhave been written and meticulously performed by Ihsahn with exception of drums, performed by Asgeir Mickelson (Borknagar, Spiral Architect). Candelight. 2006.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 1, 2015)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2015
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CANDLELIGHT RECORDS
  • ASIN: B000ERU572
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,141 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
IHSAHN - The Adversary

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Truth is I've never really been a big Black Metal fan... Yet as I continue to explore music I keep coming across bands such as Enslaved or Arcturus, who though being progressive, are definitely footed in their Black Metal roots. Ihsahn (From the Emperor fame) is of no exception, combining black metal with progressive genius to craft what will likely be one of the top albums of 2006.

From the opening track `Invocation' I was immediately captivated by the blend of, furious black metal vocals, ambient keys, amazing guitars, a solid bass, and skillful drum work. The lulling symphonic breakdown midway through is a fantastic mood setting piece especially with the somber voice of Ihsahn crooning...

Now I won't bother going song for song but be aware that this sets a high standard for the rest of the album to follow... Luckily the rest of the album does not disappoint, each song is written to perfection, holding its own unique sound and style.

Ihsahn is an incredibly talented musician and an even more talented composer. He plays the instruments with the exception of the drum work with which is handled by the exceptionally talented, Asgeir Mickelson. The Guitar work is probably the finest I've heard in BM (just listen to the solo in, Called by the Fire), the keys are effective in their delivery and provide great atmosphere, the bass is a nice backdrop to the overall sound, and the drumming is just perfect, specially during the slower parts where he is given a chance to explore more creative rhythms. Last but certainly not least is Ihsahn's vocal range... from venomous shrieks to singing and everything in between. His range is overwhelming, transitioning perfectly between his various styles.
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Format: Audio CD
Knowing all the works by Ihsahn from early "Thou shalt suffer", trough "Emperor" and finally "Peccatum", for me, "The Adversary" is better than all of his previous works. And I'm a huge Emperor fan, my fav Emperor album is Prometheus. Thus it took time to grow on me. I'm also a big Peccatum fan, especially "Lost in Reverie". The Adversary, blow me away instantly, at the first listen. It is a very simple and complex album at the same time. It's like a journey through an array of multiple metal style (black, prog, heavy, etc), that brought me back thirty years earlier, when I begin to listen to Judas Priest, Rush and then to Mercyful Fate, and so on 'til Black Metal. It makes me feel young. This is the best of the two world (Emperor and Peccatum) with a touch of his classical influence. His voice is wonderful, his guitar play is at the top. His talent as a composer has never been so evident. The last track is perhaps the best song I've heard in my life. This is sheer brilliance. Ihsahn is a genius.
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Format: Audio CD
The Adversary is a concept album that I can't help but think, is a project that has been cooking for a while, with Ihsahn performing nearly all the instruments and vocals. It is my understanding that he programmed all of the percussion before recording, and then invited drummer Asgeir Mickelson (Spiral Architect), to play as written.

The concept behind the album is that bad boy Lucifer, and Ihsahn incisively portrays the title role through nine tracks of inventive music, which explores almost every genre of extreme metal around. The vocals are front and center in the mix. This seems fitting to me, considering that the lyrics are all written in a first person narrative. I have to give a pass to the crisp and rather flat mix, since it seems to set the stage for exceptionally flawless musicianship. (If you play that well, who needs effects anyway, right?) Ihsahn provides all of the vocals with the exception of Garm of Ulver, who deftly croons along on the math-metal inspired, albeit mellow fourth track "Homecoming.

Ihsahn is an acrobatic vocalist, and uses his voice to full effect with harrowing snarls, low growls, wicked rasps, and most of all, kick [...] singing in multi layered harmonies with one of the most amazing vocal ranges I have ever heard. On one of my favorite tunes on this album, the first track "Invocation", he deftly displays one of the most expressive shrieks in black metal, with wonderful tremolo, and mellow, clean vocal bridge.

The second track, "Called by the Fire" has been referred to by others as the metal ballad of the year, and is very "old school" in its use of an absolutely classic heavy metal guitar solo and Iron Maiden-like power hook driven chorus.
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Format: Audio CD
Actually, to use the term "black metal" here would be so limiting, being that Ihsahn incorporates so many musical influences in his solo relaese, from black metal, death metal, progressive and even some tinges of jazz here and there. It's just a metalhead's dream, especially for those who were Emperor or Peccatum fans alike. Songs like "Called by the Fire", "Invocation", and my personal favorite "Panem et Circenses" showcase Ihsahn's extraordinary virtuosity with the guitars and keyboards, intricately weaving together delicate combinations of notes and progressions that swirl all at once into the key of "I"! I could imagine that if one note in some of these compositions was off by a hair, the song would be ruined, but tha's how masterful his writing is! The man's ability is undeniably present here, and memories of later Emperor can be heard in these tracks, along with his signature scream AND clean vocals. Drummer Asgeir Mickelson provides the perfect drum accompaniment here, as Ihsahn handles ALL other instruments. A must hear from ALL fans of ANY type of metal. Hail Ihsahn!!!!
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