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Enslaved - E CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.01 | 90 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars After the first average album by Enslaved (average for in their merits) in 2015 after more than 17 years, I was curious to see if the trend would continue. The first good thing upfront, the album is less commercial than the previous sometimes almost radio friendly "In times". The band provides playing without any lack of confidence indulging in some intriguing sections. The band is mature enough to know how to bake long pieces together that could partly be used in the past or come up with completely new ideas. I think that the sound has even more 70's elements than in their past - especially when it comes to keyboards (Moog, synths) and quieter moments recalling space or post-rock. For some fans, the very little presence of classic black metal moments may be discouraging; Enslaved are so experienced in various metal genres, that they easily put death, black and progressive elements together at once.

The best and most recognizable track is at the beginning, packed with furious blackish moments, progressive riffing, psychedelic moog, Opeth-like moody guitar solo at around 7-minute mark. Nobody can put all these things together as good as Enslaved.

"The river's mouth" goes down from the high previous bar. It alternates heavy metal and angry moments but lacks the uniqueness of other songs.

"Sacred horse" spoils with an effective Hammond solo in the forefront of maybe unnecessary heavy drumming. We have an oriental-like meditative second part before it surprisingly gets furious again inevitably resulting in furious headbanging of the listener.

"Axis of the worlds" finds the band recycling previous ideas and experimenting with sustaining heaviness in drumming and vocals.

"Feathers of Eolh" is built around an interesting irregular beat and abrupt dynamic changes, be it into a quiet space/folk rock territory or back to fast metal drive. They could have made the changes more gradual. It is the song with the highest clean vocal ratio.

When you think that you've seen all surprises or changes, you'll hear a fresh and intensive saxophone solo in the last track. The band is effective in painting in dark and light colours at the same time but it's an acquired taste - hearing saxophone play and black-metal growling 2 seconds later won't please everybody. The same contrast is achieved with mischievous black-metal guitar and clean soothing vocals.

The bonus tracks are OK to hear once and it's good they remained excluded from the original album.

I will round up the score to 4 stars but all other 4 stars album I've rated for Enslaved are better than this.

sgtpepper | 4/5 |


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