ENSLAVED — RIITIIR (review)

ENSLAVED — RIITIIR album cover Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
bonnek
Enslaved's 'Riitiir' has been met with near unanimous praise on the web from the moment it was released. I must say I really envy the critics in question as Enslaved albums are always a big challenge for me to get into. And 'Riitiir' is certainly no exception, even after 10 years of fanboyism for this band, the full 67 minutes of the latest album have been a daunting task to digest. It took no less then 5 listens before it's intrinsic qualities edged their way into my appreciation.

While immediately recognizable as an Enslaved opus, 'Riitiir' is quite different from preceding 'Axioma Ethica Odini' from 2010. Tracks are much longer, clocking in between 8 and 11 minutes with only one track below 7 minutes. It makes the album less direct and immediate then 'AEO'. Less aggressive as well, as more space is reserved for clean melodic parts and instrumental development. In other words, it's another step up towards full-fledged progressive metal. Without the cheese luckily, as the snarls and the vicious black bite are still an essential feature of the sound, as are the groovy riffs and spacious arrangements.

Conclusion, fans of Opeth that have been somewhat confused by their recent direction and that would have wished them to continue the furious and atmospheric prog-metal of "Blackwater Park" and "My Arms Your Hearse" need to get this new masterpiece from Enslaved. In their own unique way Enslaved managed to produce an equally captivating mix of epic frosty metal and prog complexity. Second astounding album in a row for a band 20 years into their career. Not bad, not bad at all !
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UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I see we pretty much agree on how great this album is :-).

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