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Enslaved - Vertebrae CD (album) cover

VERTEBRAE

Enslaved

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.09 | 101 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dim
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I hate to be the devils advocate, and I love how this album has really gained some appreciation on the site, thus furthering the bands popularity here, but I cant help but say that this is a very flawed album. Isa and Ruun are both very good albums, almost masterpieces. Dynamic, fast, aggressive, everything you'd expect from a black metal band, but with a progressive edge that plays a huge role in the bands music. A larger progressive edge then the other other "progressive" black bands I've heard have accomplished. I don't know what happened, but Grutle and the gang really dropped the ball on this one though.

One reason I love this band so much is because they helped keep alive the progressive spark that sounds so fresh and original, and when compared to the "progressive" artists of today, I almost gag with how utterly cheesy and unoriginal almost all the retro artists are (if not all of them). On Vertebrae though, Enslaved almost joins the "regressive" band wagon sadly. The tempos are slowed down, and almost every song seems to be going at the same pace. Even the songs that seem to start off fast and heavy, such as New Dawn and The watcher lost my attention less then half way through the song. The energy seems almost completely sucked from the band, the riffs aren't as fun, the drums not nearly as busy, and the vocals just sound straight up board, which leads me to my next biggest problem; the vocals. For some reason the group decided it was a good idea to over mix the vocals to the point where when Grutle is singing his harsh vocals, you can hear the spittle, and nastyness that's going on in his throat, and it's the same situation for the growling vocals too. Not only does it make the vocals sound real bad, but really bored as well, compared to their previous two albums, it sounds like they're barely trying.

While there are redeeming qualities, such as the few guitar solo's, the the particularly good track "To the Coast", Vertebrae was a serious disappointment, especially when matched up to the ever more flourishing progressive/atmospheric black metal scene. I honestly don't know what to expect from this band next. Should I pursue the next album with excitement, or should I wait to see what the fan base says, or here a sample before I invest? We'll just have to see in a year or so, but I doubt it would be a stretch to say that this band has reached their peak... I can only pray that that's not the case. 2 Stars.

Dim | 3/5 |

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