As a musician Ihsahn has grown to become a titular character with an ineffable personality, only hinted at through his immeasurable talent recorded on numerous musical expeditions. And so it must be common knowledge by now that Ihsahn is an excelsior riff merchant having some of the finest ears for movement in metal, where his creations explore musical territories with a cogent purpose.
The sixth exposition of his creative genius is a surreal voyage that takes place over the course of ten sonal landscapes. Arktis is diverse in tone and pace, and is hauntingly familiar yet beautifully chaste in its extremities. With an innate sense of direction the song writing on Arktis is emotionally provocative, and the compelling thrash cum symphonic cum psychedelic riffs tirelessly evoke a feeling of empowerment. The diversity of influences assimilated into this majestic drama are there to further aspiration.
Featuring a slew of guest musicians that add their own experience to this musical trip, from Matt Heafy of Trivium to fellow Norwegian and author Hans Herbjornsrud, Arktis is candid in its accessibility to new and old listeners. The clement use of instruments not typically associated with heavy metal puts Arktis on a whole new plane that re-imagines what matters at the core of metal music. All the components on Arktis are executed with such finesse that if you could call music technology, this would be extreme metal optimized.