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Enslaved - Ruun CD (album) cover

RUUN

Enslaved

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.03 | 95 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A great album, though not as brilliant as its predecessor.

The thing that made "Isa" such a fantastic record was the perfect mixture of black metal elements and more progressive-rock-oriented ones, with the right balance of melody and rhythm, riffs and tunes, atmosphere and brutality. "Ruun" continues in the same way though at times feels a little more erratic, and less progressive in a way. There are moments when the albums feels pretty straightoforward, and that hurts the experience just a little bit.

In general, I don't agree with comments that say that ENSLAVED disowned their black metal affiliation on this album. For me, the black metal is still evident and alive in "Ruun" (much unlike its sucessor, where said elements would all but disappear). The band honors its past by adding touches of progressive rock music like mellotrons and piano intros. It's quite ironic that many deem the band "progressive" when it adds elements of music from the 70's, yet I would agree with that. It's the mixture of traditional extreme metal with the music of the prog era which brings the band closer to being progressive-metal than it was before.

Unlike other reviewers, I do enjoy both eras of ENSLAVED a lot, though probably their best moments have come when they have played their new style of progressive-oriented metal. As a pure black/viking-metal outfit, the band had great ideas but never really shined above other similar acts. But in the realm of extreme-progressive-metal, this Norwegian group has few rivals.

The album is strongly recommended, though slightly less so than "Isa", in my view, still their best work to date.

The T | 4/5 |

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