ENSLAVED — Vertebrae (review)

ENSLAVED — Vertebrae album cover Album · 2008 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2.5/5 ·
bonnek
Another dense and difficult album from Enslaved. It is particularly frustrating because it constantly hints at an enormous potential of the music. Unfortunately this potential gets realized only very sparsely.

The blame is largely on the vocals. First of all, the black metal rasps don't work here for me. They are simply not evil and aggressive enough. They were much more effective on Blodhemn and Mardraum, but they sound awkward and unfit for the more laidback style of music that Enslaved has adapted here. Now, I hear you say "but they use a lot of clean vocals as well now". Well that's true, but those are even less satisfying. The melodies are underdeveloped and the singer's voice is monotonous and emotionless.

3 Years ago my conclusion was that even though 21st century Enslaved had the potential to be another Opeth, they wouldn't live up to it. But back then they hadn't released the blast that is called 'Axioma Ethica Odini'. An average Enslaved album for me, with some good songs and a lot of unremarkable ones. With better vocals it might have been another story altogether.
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