Ihsahn has unveiled details of a new, ambitious ‘interlinked’ album project.

This self-titled conceptual release will see the Norwegian black metal legend unveil a prog metal record as well as a fully symphonic accompanying album on February 16 via Candlelight. The idea, he says, came from wanting to “raise the bar tenfold” for his eighth LP.

“At the heart of what I do is black metal, extreme distorted guitars and screaming, but since the earliest Emperor recordings you’ll hear the keyboard parts influenced by classic soundtracks by the likes of Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, Bernard Herrmann, John Carpenter and so on,” Ihsahn explains. “So, I approached the writing with the intent to present the material in its full-blown metal expression, but also to arrange the orchestral parts in such a way that they would work independently.

“Somehow an attempt to write a soundtrack within the structures of the full production, allowing me to explore different, and sometimes contrasting, variations of essentially the same music. In the end I wrote all the music as a piano short-score and arranged it for a typical band ensemble and orchestra, accordingly, making sure everything interlocked.”

You can get a taste with lead single Pilgrimage To Oblivion out now, with its counterpart also dropping later today. The musician says that the song “serves as a rather immediate introduction to the overarching musical and conceptual aspects of the album. The lyrics go directly into the storyline and the video is the first in a sequel of videos portraying the whole story.”

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