ENSLAVED — The Sleeping Gods (review)

ENSLAVED — The Sleeping Gods album cover EP · 2011 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
UMUR
"The Sleeping Gods" is an EP release by Norwegian black metal/ progressive metal act Enslaved. "The Sleeping Gods" was electronically released on the 9th of May 2011 and made available for free legal download ( details in the album entry).

The EP contains 5 tracks and a full playing time of 28:28 minutes. Compared to the band´s last release "Axioma Ethica Odini (2010)", the sound on "The Sleeping Gods" is a lot less metallic and more organic. It´s amazing how sound production can change so much. "The Sleeping Gods" sound very different from "Axioma Ethica Odini". Enslaved´s core sound is intact but the 5 tracks on "The Sleeping Gods", see the band venture into unknown territories. As always Enslaved display a bold and adventurous approach to writing music. "Heimvegen" that opens "The Sleeping Gods" is probably the track on the EP that is closest in sound to how Enslaved have sounded the last couple of years. Epic and progressive black metal. The second track "Alu Misyrki" has a punked edge and it´s actually quite different and more direct than what we´re used to hearing from the band. That´s nothing against how surprising the ambient/ synth sequenced "Synthesis" sounds though. It´s a bit long drawn for my taste, but it features a great dark atmosphere. "Nordlys" is like "Synthesis", a predominanlty instrumental piece ("Synthesis" features some eerie whispering). "Nordlys" has a kind of post-rock/ metal sound to it though. Again it´s rather different from the band´s usual sound. The EP ends with the chanting/ folky/ tribal drumming title track. It´s a bit repetitive but that is probably the point. Chants usually are. It´s interesting to note that the primary language used in the lyrics is Norwegian. It´s been a while since the band focused on their own language this much.

If you ask me "The Sleeping Gods" does what a good EP is suppossed to. It experiments and brings out ideas not necessarily suited for an artists "regular" studio albums. "The Sleeping Gods" is a very successful release in that respect. Quality wise I think the tracks on the EP are sligthly less interesting than the band´s usually very high quality material, but "The Sleeping Gods" is still definitely a release both fans of the band and more casual listeners could find interesting. The latter group should take notice that the EP, as mentioned above, is offered up for free download. A 3.5 star rating is deserved.
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