Apr 132011

Take a look at that flyer up above for ProgPower XII, the latest installment of the long-running prog- and power-metal festival held in Atlanta. Now let your eyes drift over to the upper left-hand corner and find the logo for a band called Arcturus. Now, mentally cross out that name and put a different name in its place: Ihsahn.

It’s true — Arcturus is out and Ihsahn is in — as in, yes, the former Emperor frontman will be making his first live stage appearance in the U.S. I’m not a huge Ihsahn fan, but I know many of you are, and this definitely qualifies as news that’s worthy of note.

The story about how Ihsahn was added to this festival is also damned funny.  It starts with the bizarre statement by Arcturus (who I’ve never heard of, to be honest) “explaining” the cancelation of their appearance and ends with the promoter’s blunt-but-hilarious comment about Arcturus jumping ship. I think it’s safe to say that in the eyes of most metalheads, he got himself a big upgrade.  Read both statements after the jump.

Arcturus issued the following statement regarding its cancellation:

ARCTURUS still suffer from hibernation sickness, and due to outdated parts we deeply regret to inform you: We are canceling ProgPower USA. This lack of maintenance is entirely our own fault, and sincere apologies go out to the promoter and all ticket holders, especially those of you who had planned to travel far.”

ProgPower USA promoter Glenn Harveston reacted as follows:

“I have no idea what the hell that statement means. I’m not going to try and figure it out either, as I have wasted enough time and effort on that ‘band’ already. In the meantime, I would like to personally thank Ihsahn for taking the slot. His professionalism in this situation is greatly appreciated.”

  21 Responses to “IHSAHN TO PERFORM IN THE U.S.”

  1. I have never actually heard Isahn’s stuff…only when he fronted Emperor. Still black metal? If I were a prog/power metal fan, I don’t know how I would react to seeing a black metal act on the tour. Then again, I’m not a prog/power metal fan.

    • I have (had?) The Adversary. I don’t really remember it clearly, since it’s been years since I listened to it, but I do remember being surprised by how not…black or brutal it was. Perhaps I need to relisten to it??

      After listening to some songs on youtube, I guess I remembered incorrectly.

      Still, it’s much cleaner than what one would expect from typical black metal.

    • His 2010 album, “After”, which made lots of people’s Best of 2010 lists, is definitely far closer to the prog end of the metal spectrum than black metal. It includes tenor sax solos by Shining’s Jorgen Munkeby, 8-string guitar and keyboard instrumentals, lots of clean singing, acoustic melodies, and as much music that could be called soft and beautiful as heavy.

      • I still haven’t picked up After but I have his Angl album and consider it pretty proggy. One of my favorite songs from it is Elevator http://deathmetalbaboon.com/ihsahn-elevator.

        Also, Islander, have you seen the 12:30 post at MetalSucks? *offers a tissue*

        • I saw that news on The Famine’s Facebook page yesterday and thought about posting on it, but was really too depressed to do it. Shit happens, and so does life. Metal bands definitely aren’t immune. But it’s still a fucking shame. I really like that band’s music a bunch.

  2. I have no idea what the hell that statement means.

    Sick burn! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  3. Acrturus’ first two albums are very very good symphonic (black) metal. The first album is more blackish, but still not very black. The second is avantguard to say the least, yet an excellent album.

    Acturus – Raudt og Svart (first album)

    Acturus – The Chaos Path (second album)

  4. I guess you can no longer completely rule out Bloodbath playing in the U.S seen as Ihsahn is, something that many thought would never happen.

    • Regardless of what is said, many bands who “will never play in the US” are bands who’s members cannot get a visa to enter the US (if you’re playing a show you’re “working” and as such you need a work visa). The conditions are quite strict (esp post 9/11), if you have any sort of past run-ins with the authorities in your country you’ll be denied nine times out of ten. Of course if you’re famous and have lots of money to hire lawyers you can get around it. Dissection never did their come back tour in the US since Jon’s visa was denied, Watain uses a different live line up when they tour the US as well. Marduk never played the US until after some personnel changes, the list goes on and on.

      • Point well made good sir, I fully understand all that and as you say esp since 9/11. All I meant with Bloodbath is they play live so very rarely I would be surprised to see them do a show in the U.S, hopefully they’ll haul their asses over the pond one day, they are outstanding live, I was lucky enough to see them twice last year.

  5. im going to see ihsahn play live this summer, Ive always admire the man, both his work with emperor and his solo work.
    by the way, arcturus is fucking killer man, what a shame that you dont get to see the guys live, if you dont know the band i advise you to check it out, they are very famous arround europe, their early stuff is more black metal but then they started to have a more unique sound and became somewhat of an avant garde black metal band.
    that statement they wrote, if you were a fan of the band you would understand, the lyrics of the band are pretty much about space travels in pirate ships and whatnot, LSD stuff you know…
    but seriously check the band out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ubryx5b5awo

    • PS: Garm (from ulver) and I.C.S Vortex (ex-dimmu borgir) were the vocalists for the band, so if you admire both guys do yourself a favor and listen to arcturus!

  6. It’s totally not gay to scream like a little girl seeing this news….is it?

    Any word on dates and locations yet?

  7. The album “Sham Mirrors” by Arcturus is actually one of my guilty pleasures in metal (the keyboards are some of the best I’ve heard). It’s so unlike anything else I listen to it’s a little wierd to name them as a group I like. So I, for one, am disappointed I won’t get to see them. But it looks like they did it to themselves.

  8. FYI, “Hibernation Sickness” is an Arcturus song.

    While it was doubtful that’s I’d have the scratch to attend – or even get to ProgPower, I was hoping that things would fall together enough and I’d be able to get away for a while. That Arcturus was going to be there was one reason why I was hoping that I could make it happen. Therion as well, as long as Christofer didn’t get too carried away with the production (hint: this isn’t Europe and it’s not easy to play North America like it is).

    I don’t know how to take Harveston’s comments about Arcturus, but I would think that dealing with progressive metal, one would be used to bands that do things a bit differently. But oh well. That Ihsahn has joined the bill should make it worth it.

    Now, as to whether I’m going… still looks like the answer is no.

    • I feel like kind of a dick for the snide comments about Arcturus and the quip about Ihsahn being an upgrade when I knew nothing of their music. These comments have convinced me that I need to listen to their music. And btw, I hope you’ve been okay — it’s been a while since you checked in here.

      • Been a bit busy trying to catch up with stuff at home and here at work. Plus, it’s hard to keep up with everything online when I can’t do so from home and can only do so much from the computer here at work or one at a friend’s house. I’m hoping to remedy that soon.

        And don’t worry about your comments about Arcturus. They’re not exactly a band that’s easy to pick up for everyone. I don’t care for everything they’ve done, but I have liked a lot of what I’ve heard from them.

  9. Arcturus are excellent! “La Masquerade Infernale” and “The Sham Mirrors” are in my top list of albums for sure. We even had the pleasure of doing a show with Arcturus once. Very cool guys, shame they had to cancel, allthough I’m not surprised. Vortex is pretty busy and Hellhammer is always busy…so, oh well, my bet would be that they play Mölla 2011, 😉

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