A little more than one-quarter of the way through 2010, Ihsahn’s After still ranks at or near the top of my list for the year. It’s just so dynamic, so well-thought out, musically astonishing and full of subtleties… and it’s just as good with every repeated listen. Picking my favorites is not getting any easier as the year rolls on, though — new entries from Nachtmystium, The Ocean, Unleashed, Levi/Werstler, Nevermore, Son of Aurelius, Tryptikon and yeah of course Ratt are gonna make 2010 another stellar year for metal.

Of course Ihsahn’s live shows are just as awesome judging by the video below, my first glimpse at the ex-Emperor playing live. If Ihsahn ever decides to take his show to the roads of the U.S. there’s no way the production will match this, filmed at Oslo’s Inferno festival a week ago — like there’s no way we’d get all those lights or saxophone player Munkeby [of Norway’s Shining, who also happen to have put out one of my fave albums of 2010]… but I’ll bet it’d still be pretty intense. Come on Vegard, do it.


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