When it comes to Black Metal many names and bands come to one’s mind. Bands such as: Mayhem, Bathory, HellHammer, Darkthrone, Burzum, Gorgoroth… In addition to the bands there are band members or “Black Metal Icons” that have shaped black metal one way or another and these people will be talked about one by one. Fenriz, Varg, Gaahl, Infernus, Euronymous, Quorthon and Dead are all icons that have become symbols representing Black Metal.
However, there is a person that is different yet very similar to all those mentioned above. This man had defied all the rules and has set the standards in not only Black Metal but in Progressive metal as well. Without any further waiting I would like to say that this man is called Vegard Sverre Tveitan AKA Ihsahn.
At the age of seven Ihsahn started getting into the world of music by playing the Piano. Three years later, he picked up the guitar and started playing the guitar shortly after that, Ihsahn started recording some songs and his music reflected that he was influenced mostly by classical music and heavy metal. At the age of 13, Ihsahn met Tomas Haugen (Samoth) and Samoth invited him to join his band, which then became the band known as Thou Shalt Suffer, the first official band that Ihsahn was in. Haugen left Thou Shalt Suffer and Ihsahn remained as the only member in the band but he didn’t dissolve the band, but instead he continued it.
After Samoth left the band the two formed Emperor and Ihsahn was the guitarist and they received a lot of support from the infamous Euronymous. During the formation of Emperor, Ihsahn started developing an interest in adding keyboards to the music. After the release of the Emperor EP the band started working on one of the most influential Black Metal albums of all time: In the Nightside Eclipse. After “Nightside” most of the band members in Emperor went to prison, leaving Ihsahn as the “sole surviving” band member. Ihsahn didn’t stop making music; on the contrary he recorded most of the songs that later were included in the other influential album by Emperor: Anthems to the Welkin at dusk.
In 1995 Ihsahn and Samoth with band members from Satyricon (Frost) and Dodhemisgard formed the cult band Zyklon-b. Zyklon-b recorded the infamous EP: Blood Must be Shed. And this EP contained only 3 songs but it was destructive, in a positive sense. 3 years later Ihsahn formed Peccatum an experimental band which Ihsahn took part in it on synths and guitars and this band was formed with his life partner Ihriel. At that time Ihsahn was working on releasing the famous IX Equilibrium album which was released in 1999. 2 years later Emperor witnessed the release of their final studio album Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise, which was COMPLETELY composed by Ihsahn.