Emperor’s Ihsahn: The Weeknd is ‘darker and more edgy’ than most new extreme metal bands

Author Jad - 27.3.2022

Emperor frontman Ihsahn has just come out to criticize the current metal scene for its apaprent lack of danger, claiming that The Weeknd is edgier and more experimental.

Ihsahn, real name is Vegard Sverre Tveitan, voiced his opinion on The Weeknd after telling Metal Hammer magazine that he has recently been listening to “Dawn FM”, the new album from the popular Canadian singer-songwriter, born Abel Tesfaye.

It’s so heavy. Maybe it’s just me being old and grumpy, but there’s so much new metal coming out where there’s no danger. I listen to a lot of commercial R&B like The Weeknd. That’s darker and more edgy and more experimental than most new extreme metal bands, to be honest.


According to Blabbermouth, this is not the first time Ihsahn has praised an artist from outside his genre’s forbidding abode. In 2018, he claimed that his solo music has been influenced by “the bravery” of Kanye West‘s “Yeezus”, which the controversial rapper’s listeners often praise as his most divisive album.

Let’s be honest, as a person, the character, he’s not the most easy to empathize with. But sometimes your relationship with the person, the artist, if they act the way you don’t [like], you bring that with you when you listen to the music. But in spite of that, there’s no denying that it’s so brave. And I think the kind of megalomaniac ego that goes behind it makes it that genius; that is so brave. There’s no commercial thought when you do an album like that, when you just scream out this lyric: ‘I am a God.’ It’s crazy, and I love it.

I have this theory that the really new creation in music, the real genius happens in the underground, where there’s no money and people just do it for the artistic ambition, and all the way at the top where’s so much money that they don’t even care, and they can do anything. And there’s all the rest in the middle who try to do the ‘right’ things and [make] those compromises to get there.”Ihsahn said of West in an interview with the Czech Republic’s Metalshop TV