Review

ENSLAVED RIITIIR

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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5/5 ·
Kev Rowland
This is one of those albums where it is almost impossible to write about it. Why? Because the band have decided that they are going to reach across loads of genres and combine them in a way that really only makes sense if you are listening to the album. To say that these guys are ‘just’ Black Metal makes no sense at all, as while they have maintained links to the roots they started laying down more than 20 years ago they have as much in common with Insahn, Tool and Devin Townsend as they do with classic Emperor and Ulver. What makes this such an astonishing album is the way that they mix and meld all of the influences within the same song – there is no stop and change of direction, it is all fluid and makes total musical sense.

Even the vocals change so that clean vocals can be where you might expect gruffness, and death growls where you might expect melody and the band moves from frost covered BM to complex runs and fills that Death would have been proud of. Musically it is all over the map, and so much better for it. Here is a band that is truly progressing in so many ways, ripping through boundaries as if they never existed – this is great music which is layered and complex, complicated and hard to understand yet with a path through the forest that is uncompromising.

This is easily one of the top metal albums from 2012, but it will take more than just a couple of listens to get the full benefit. If you have never come across this Norwegian band before then now is the time to do and this is the album to get. Ivar and Grutie were just teenagers when they started the band back in 1991, and they have matured in a hell of a way. Indispensible. www.nuclearblast.de
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