Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Enslaved - Heimdal CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.93 | 31 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars It has finally clicked in me that Hugsjá co-creator Ivar Bjørnson comes from Enslaved! Thus, I am far more willing to give them the very close attention that they deserve.

1. "Behind the Mirror" (6:21) eery Viking horns warn off the stealthy raiders coming across the still waters. Cool! The music then kicks in, sounding more subdued for dark metal but then the vocals enter and the horn-like twin guitars and then the chugging sophistication of the rhythmic interplay of the fourth minute makes it much more interesting. Nice mutli-voice vocals over the last third remind me of CYNIC's "Veil of Maya." (8.875/10)

2. "Congelia" (8:02) Kind of monotonous (and relentless) despite some nice guitar soloing and choral vocal singing. Lots of similarities to KAYO DOT / TOBY DRIVER projects. (13.25/15)

3. "Forest Dweller" (5:56) acoustic guitars and electric walls of sound (including Mellotron) give this one a ORPHANED LAND sound and feel. Interesting BRENDAN FRASER effect on the vocal over an acoustic guitar accompaniment in the second minute. The dominance of the synth play over the acoustic guitar is fascinating. I really like this! In the third minute the band and vocals ramp up to prog metal (heavy on the Hammond) with growl lead vocals and Opeth-like background chorus. With the return of the synth dominance and Middle Eastern melody lines in the the fifth minute I am once again reminded of Isreali band ORPHANED LAND. The final vocal lines remind me of IGGY POP. Nice stuff. Because of its refreshing behind of styles and themes, this is my favorite song on the album. (9.5/10)

4. "Kingdom" (5:52) nice opening guitar riff sucks one in and then the racing rhythm section brings its own power and adrenaline. Until the chorus at the three-minute mark, this song feels a bit cruise-controlled. Don't get me wrong: the impressive musicians are working hard, but there is so little development in the music (besides the chorus) that over six minutes it feels a bit like an endurance race. The little pause and lament at 3:40 is my favorite moment on the album. Very cool. Another top three song. (9/10)

5. "The Eternal Sea" (7:26) another interesting song for the strong presence of keyboard synths within the metal soundscapes (which, again, feel very TOBY DRIVER-esque to me). I really like everything up to the five-minute mark, but do not like the sudden decent into hell that is taken at this point, despite the pleasant leveling off only 40 seconds later. Another top three song. (13.5/15)

6. "Caravans to the Outer Worlds" (6:45) massive low reverberating bass, strumming acoustic guitars and synth play open up this with an ominous, potentiated sound. At 1:08 the full band kicks into the main theme with a reckless abandon that reminds me of some of the more dynamic passages in MAUDLIN OF THE WELL or even DEVIN TOWNSEND songs. The little chorus thing at the 2:30 mark reminds me of Fates Warning lead singer Ray Alder, but the rest of the song's vocal performances are more typical (even the IGGY POP-like basso profundo is now familiar). The final minute is rather cool with the bass and drum playing off one another. (13.5/15)

7. "Heimdal" (8:07) dominated by bass guitar chord play acting as the leader (and some great drumming beneath), the growl vocals feel a bit Halloween spooky--almost comical. The fourth minute is passed in a near-vacuum as spacey guitar and growly vocal recitation in the back, but then 4:18 we ramp up into a simplistic 1970s THIN LIZZY-like rock motif. When the vocals pick up at the very end of the sixth minute they're delivered choral style sounding very much like country-mates MOTORPSYCHO. Interesting. But a little too weird and disjointed for my puny little brain. (13/15)

Total Time 55:39

There was time, as many of you know, that I could not review an album like this. I think that my repertoire of familiarity with the metal sub-categories is finally beginning to pay off as I can definitely hear and feel (and enjoy) the creativity and similarities in the musics I'm hearing. Yay!

B/four stars; an excellent addition to any prog metal lover's music collection, Heck! Even some prog purists will probably find this quite interesting and pleasing.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this ENSLAVED review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.