Como é que este homem consegue fazer coisas tão invulgarmente perfeitas com uma facilidade como quem muda de t-shirt??? É deveras uma carreira a solo impressionante. Àmr, é simplesmente a continuação das fortes queimaduras interiores que Arktis me provocaram. E à bruta!!! Hail to mister Ihsahn! \m/
I see what Ihsahn was going for on Amr, but I think the production kinda neuters it in some ways. FOr one, there's a lot of unnatural sounding bass boosting in the guitar, which keeps the bass guitar from adding much weight to the heavy parts. Then there's the extreme overcompression, which I've come to expect from Ihsahn, but it's usually attached to extreme metal to justify it as a form of sensory abuse. Here, it just has me zoning out since the transitions don't hit as hard as they would otherwise. Then there's the most frustrating part: Ihsahn is working with his best drummer ever, but excessive drum triggering really weakens his emotional impact. The melodies are phenomenal, the drumming incredibly creative and the singing easily the best I've heard from Ihsahn. I just wish this was mixed and mastered in a way that truly brought out the full power of the compositions. One Less Enemy is the best largely because of its extreme metal leanings, progressive rock needs dynamic range.
Amr sounds a lot like where Leprous could've gone after Bilateral or Tall Poppy Syndrome, and I like it from that standpoint. The best moments are where the lead guitar and synths are well balanced, but I think the softer moments really get stifled by the loudness war. I also think pushing the bass frequencies on the guitar really undercut the bass guitar, but since the bass didn't seem like it was doing anything beyond foundation work, I suppose it works. Predicting that Amr will be a grower, One Less Enemy is easily the first listen favorite.
Das Seelenbrechen is very much an avant-garde album and is incredibly ambitious (large parts of it are improvised). Eremita also has many of the same elements as After. There's also his avant-garde band Peccatum if you haven't listened to them before.
Peccatum is way more stylistically diverse than any Gothic metal act I've heard (if you've heard any that encompass the same range of genres, I'd love to hear who they are). I haven't heard any other act that manages to go from trip-hop to black metal to some inexplicable mixture of the genres within the course of one song ("Black Star" is probably the best example I've heard of this), and more importantly, do it without ever breaking the flow or atmosphere of the music. But yeah, I can see how the vocals would be an acquired taste; they weren't for me, but I can see how they'd be challenging for others.
After casually relistening to Black Star, I see exactly what you mean. Definitely gonna have to revisit them now, Heidi was great on Departure (Emerita) and it seems she uses a wider range of vocal styles than I first though.