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Enslaved - Ruun CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.98 | 137 ratings

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Yes this is not for the faint hearted fairy prog listener. Allthough Enslaved has many prog leanings they are essentially a metal band, both in attitude and as you can see from my quote from the song Tides of Chaos very much through their lyrics. They are actually one of the few black metal bands who have broken free of their original style but still kept their credibility in the black metal world ( Unlike bands like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth).

Bearing in mind their Black metal/ Viking metal past itīs really great to see how Enslaved have developed their special brand of metal over the last couple of years. I didnīt use to like Enslaved very much before I heard ISA, which is their previous album. It was a wonderful surprise to me even though I had a hard time adjusting to Grutle Kjellsonīs harsh vocals ( listening to his voice, Iīm afraid that any minut he will start to vomit blood). Itīs not that I am a novice to death and black metal bands since Iīve been listening to extreme metal for the last 20 years ( Prog rock too of course, but metal is my other great interest), but I still found Grutleīs vocals to be extreme to my ears. Once I got used to his vocals ( I even like them now), the beauty of Enslavedīs music unfolded to me. On this the successor to ISA, Enslaved have gotten even better. Ruun is a masterpiece.

Enslaved even though many catagorize them as Black metal, donīt really sound much like the average black metal band. First of all Enslaved play in mid-tempo or slow most of the time, many other black metal bands use these tempi as well, but most commonly black metal bands play fast tempi ( blast beats). Enslavedīs music is very melodic, though their melodies are hidden. They donīt wear their melodies on their sleeve. This is the beauty of their music in my ears. You have to really listen to fully understand. It took me a while.

Fans of Opeth should really give Enslaved a chance, as the two bands play a similar style of Death metal with seventies prog leanings ( yes I said death metal and not Black Metal as I think the only thing that links Enslaved to black metal is their past and Grutleīs vocal). Opeth is much more complex than Enslaved though. Enslaved emphasize pretty simple instrumentation and riffs, but with much emotion incorporated. Itīs not melodic in the swedish way though itīs more subtle ( and thank you for that). Vintage keyboard sounds are omnipresent on RUUN, and that is the seventies link. Like Opeth, Enslaved use both growling and clean vocals. The clean vocals ( by Herbrand Larsen) from Enslaved are a bit different from Mikael âkerfeldtīv clean vocal style though. More chanting and simple. The music is repetitive which is not a negative thing in the case of Enslaved, and it helps emphasize the cold and brutal nature of their music. The riffs conjure up a monumental feeling and the majesty of the melodies go nicely along.

For prog heads who thinks this sound exciting, but a bit too brutal for their taste, try listening to the songs RUUN and Heir to the Cosmic Seed. These songs are the most mellow prog rock like songs on the album. I have no favorites on RUUN as I think every song is great. I have to mention Grutleīs bas in Entroper though, as he plays some really exciting notes in that song. Even though I also consider ISA to be a masterpiece, some things are even better on RUUN. Especially the vocals which was my only complaint on ISA are much better and higher in the mix on RUUN.

I am really excited about this album as you might have noticed, and have listened to it for many many times before writing this review, to be sure that this is really a masterpiece. But my final evaluation is that it really is a masterpiece. There is no doubt in my mind. I hope that this review will open the eyes of other people like me who like both prog and extreme metal and havenīt heard about Enslaved before, as they really are a brilliant band.

UMUR | 5/5 |


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