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VIKINGLIGR VELDI

Enslaved

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Enslaved Vikingligr Veldi album cover
3.43 | 45 ratings | 8 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lifandi Lif Undir Hamri (11:31)
2. Vetrarnуtt (10:58)
3. Midgards Eldar (11:16)
4. Heimdallr (6:15)
5. Norvegr (10:56)

Total Time: 50:56

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Grutle Kjellson / vocals, bass guitar
- Ivar Bjшrnson / guitars, keyboards
- Trym Torson / drums

Releases information

CD Deathlike Silence Records/V.o.W.(February 1994)

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RiitiirRiitiir
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ENSLAVED Vikingligr Veldi ratings distribution


3.43
(45 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
22%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (28%)
28%
Collectors/fans only (8%)
8%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

ENSLAVED Vikingligr Veldi reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Enslavedīs debut album Vikingligr Veldi has classic status in the black metal world. The prog tendencies that Enslaved incorporated into their sound on later albums are not found here. At least itīs only heard sporadically. Enslaved plays black metal in the vein of Satyricon and Burzum which means that it is very dark and pretty repetitive. Krautrock lovers might get something out of this even though itīs another genre alltogether. The hypnotic effect you get when listening to krautrock is also present here though.

The sound is very amaturish but better than the sound on many other black metal albums from that time. As it is normal in this type of black metal you canīt hear the bass, the sound is extremely thin and with lots and lots of treble.

The musicians are nothing special really even though I have to be impressed with Ivar Bjørnson who is only 16 or 17 years old on this release.

The music is as mentioned very repetitive black metal. Itīs very melodic and there are even some keyboard effects that can sound seventies prog like, but donīt expect too much of that kind, itīs only occasionally. Grutle Kjellson has an extreme black metal rasp and itīs very much an aquired taste if you like these kind of vocals. Even for death metal fans this might be too extreme. Favorite songs for me are the opener Lifandi Lif Undir Hamri which I find very powerful and even very melodic, and Midgards Eldar where Grutle Kjellson sounds really pissed off. Nice brutal stuff. Vetrarnуtt is a bit of a let down really. Itīs way too repetitive for me.

Even though I have enjoyed listening to Vikingligr Veldi and on first listen wanted to give it 3 stars, I have come to my senses now and I will only rate it 2 stars. Itīs not that innovative really and it gets a bit trivial when you reach the middle of the album. Iīll say this is only for fans of the early norwegian black metal scene. I donīt see the average prog head enjoying this much.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#162809) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Vikingligr Veldi is a black metal milestone and Enslaved's most symphonic styled black metal album, closer to Emperor and Immortal then to their later prog rock and an obvious inspiration for both the more commercial symphonic black metal bands like Dimmu Borgir and the atmospheric tendencies of early Katatonia and Agalloch.

The opening track Lifandi Lif Undir Hamri is very gripping and sums up everything that is on offer on this album, a fast, repetitive and entrancing pace, tremolo-picked guitar riffs, vicious black metal shrieks, haunting keyboards and folksy overtones. As Umur pointed out this might appeal to kraut fans. Me being one, I can only confirm that claim. The track has only minimal melody but appeals greatly because of its rhythm and entrancing effect.

The remaining tracks have a similar approach, Vetranott is another 11 minute slab of up-tempo dark energy. Especially the blast beat section in the middle is wild and furious. Enslaved add just enough melody to make it digestible and alluring. Of course Grutle's shrieks are an acquired taste and by the time the next 11 minutes of Midgards Eldar I get quite weary of them as well, so I rarely sit through this album in one go.

Heilmdallr is an Enslaved classic that still features in their live set. More concise and decidedly more black and aggressive it's a welcome change after the 3 epics that preceded. Also the instrumental Norvegr offers some variation in tempo and instrumentation, featuring even some (under-produced) acoustic guitars and prominent melodious bass guitar that gives it a kind of new wave feel (think of a badly produced the Cure jam with fuzzed out guitars).

The production is really good for black metal standards of that era, of course it's murky and trebly but all instruments are clearly audible, even the bass (at least if you have big woofers). The performance is inspired and energetic and the compositions are very big, symphonic and - seen from a broad perspective that includes kraut and space-rock - certainly progressive, though not Prog Rock of the kind Enslaved would start playing in the ensuing decade. Not perfect but an impressive album. Essential for black metal fans and still excellent within the Tech/Extreme sub. Maybe we need an extreme kraut metal sub for this album! 3.5 stars

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#259018) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 03, 2010

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Vikingligr Veldi' - Enslaved (7/10)

There is no doubt that the early 90's were a particularly important, and turbulent time for the then-virtually unknown Norwegian black metal scene. With such acts as Mayhem and Burzum reaching near legendary statuses within their underground circles and then reaching a persisting notoriety over their satanic imagery and association with church burnings, the scene of black metal was fast becoming a media darling over a legitimate style of expression. Things would get no better for the musicians of black metal when Mayhem's vocalist fed himself the firing end of a shotgrun, and Burzum's mastermind's following murder Mayhem guitarist Euronymous. With such an infamy and spectacle in place, it was becoming hard for such black metal acts as Enslaved to be taken seriously as artists, based on the actions of their contemporaries. With Enslaved having since moved farther and farther away from orthodox black metal in recent times, 'Vikingligr Veldi' is a testament to the band's roots; where they came from. While it may be much less recognized by the metal community than some of the other Norwegian black metal albums of the time, the album proves early on that Enslaved were up to something different than their frostbitten compatriots.

The black metal sound is here in spades; the raw distorted guitars, raspy snarls, fast pace and primitive drums all tie in Enslaved to the other black metal acts. However, the music here rests on a different spectrum in black metal than the majority of the other acts that had achieved a degree of respect and fame. To break apart the black metal sound, there are symphonic keyboards, and some fantastic folk nuances. Possibly the most notable thing to mention about 'Vikingligr Veldi' is that Enslaved decides to avert away from the typical satanic, evil imagery in favour of more nature-based, folky themes in the lyrics. This only goes to show that Enslaved was really making a conscious effort to set themselves apart, and if the debut album is any sign, they accomplished that.

The highlight of the music really rests on the things Enslaved does to make the black metal sound unique for them, with particular focus on the folk elements. The guitars are more moderate in their approach, sometimes slowing down to powerful mid-tempo riffs. This is however, an earlier black metal album by all regards, and it does share weak points that generally go along with the style. While some of the more intricate riffs here are very powerful, it feels like the riffs that Enslaved repeats the most often are also the most simplistic, driving blastbeats overtop to mask what would otherwise turn into a somewhat tedious venture. The production is raw and uncooked, but it does work quite well for that album. The album is very good, but a heavier focus on the 'non-black metal' elements would have made 'Vikingligr Veldi' an even more distinct piece of work.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#409558) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 28, 2011

Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Even back in 1994, Enslaved was a bit of an 'odd duck' in the Norwegian black metal scene. Whereas many of the genre's forerunners were busy writing Satanic lyrics, burning down churches, or (in the case of Varg Vikernes and Euronymous) killing each other, Enslaved instead focused on creating a - for the time period, at least - very strange blend of ice cold black metal, symphonic keyboards, viking themed lyrics, and seventies' progressive rock. Although the progressive tendencies are hardly as noticeable as they would soon become, they were prominent enough to allow Vikingligr Veldi to stand out from the hordes of Mayhem and Burzum clones on the scene. I wouldn't venture to say this is one of the best Enslaved albums, but Vikingligr Veldi is a very highly recommended purchase for those who enjoy raw old school black metal with a few unique twists.

At its core, Vikingligr Veldi is very firmly rooted in Norwegian black metal. Lots of fast blast-beats, tremolo picked guitar riffs, and throaty vocals are found here, but Enslaved also throw some symphonic keyboards and ambient influences into the mix for good measure. I do hear a very strong Burzum influence here - like many of Varg's masterworks, the tracks are very long and repetitive, thus creating a rather hypnotic effect on the listener. Enslaved has an additional progressive edge that sets them apart, though, and I absolutely love when the synthesizers come into play. They really help flesh out the overall experience and give some melodic hooks for the listener to grab onto.

Later works from Enslaved are known for their crystal-clear production and tight musicianship, but that wasn't at all the case on Vikingligr Veldi. Like almost all black metal albums from this era, the musicianship is a bit sloppy and the production is just about as raw and unpolished as they come. That hopefully shouldn't scare away any potential listeners, though - the raw production suits the chilling atmosphere of Vikingligr Veldi perfectly, and the unpolished musicianship never gets in the way of my enjoyment.

Looking back on Vikingligr Veldi over fifteen years since its initial release, it's pretty clear that this promising Norwegian black metal act would go on to do much greater things over the span of their career. Enslaved has since released plenty of genre-defining progressive black metal albums, and even though this debut is damn good in my eyes, it's not one of their most essential purchases if you're looking to get into them. Still, Vikingligr Veldi is very much worth a look from any fan of Enslaved as well as old school Norwegian black metal in general. This is one of the better black metal albums from the early ninties', and as such deserves at least 3.5 stars. Though not an essential purchase, Vikingligr Veldi is a very promising start for these extreme metal behemoths.

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Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#561535) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Unlike most of their contemporaries in the early Norwegian black metal scene, Enslaved did not seek to express pure aggression and anger, or spit bile at Christianity, or roar forth the praises of Satan, or express a depressive sort of misanthropy. Instead, their lyrical foundation on this album was based around their appreciation of ancient Viking myths - and not in a "we're going to smash the Judeo-Christians and take back our land sort of way" or a "we are deeply sad that our pagan heritage is gone" way, as with Bathory's early Viking metal pieces. Instead, they simply present the myths and say "Here, these are the stories of our people, enjoy them"; the lyrics express a mood of quiet confidence and peace with the world, with what violence there is emerging not from people but from the wild and untamed forces of nature as expressed by the gods.

This lyrical foundation is supported by their musical approach. Though Grutle bellows forth the lyrics in a wild black metal shriek, to my ears his approach is more declarative and proclamatory than aggressive and brutal, and underpinning the wall of noise established by the guitars is some truly unexpectedly gentle, melodic, and peaceful synthesiser lines from Ivar. Whereas Emperor and their successors used synthesisers to create a grand sense of symphonic pomp and ceremony surrounding their music, and Varg Vikernes used them for dark ambient experimentation, Emperor of all the black metal bands seem to want us to chill out, relax, and let their synthesiser melodies sooth us in the midst of the chaotic guitar squalls which evoke the storms of long-ago Scandinavian winters.

In short, this debut album takes a unique approach to black metal and sets Enslaved on their own highly individual trajectory, and as such I think it's one of the most genuinely innovative and experimental works in the early genre.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#617267) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 23, 2012

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars This album works as more of a droning experience than a fist pumping headbanging adventure. It's like watching paint dry, but with the paint being an exceptionally interesting and alluring color. The album title also sounds like some sort of hard liquor beverage, which I personally consider another plus.

With five songs and a total length of over fifty minutes, one of them being a reasonably long instrumental, the proggish ambition is certainly there and Enslaved hit the Norwegian scene immediately with long epics draped with atmosphere that was chilly though not necessarily morbid or evil (although their prior EP Hordanes Land felt pretty dark). The aura for this album is more of a majestic statement, particularly concerning tracks like "Midgards Eldar", which entice me to climb up high mountains and stare across the vast landscape in sheer glory as the sun sets beyond the horizon. Then I get chilly and hungry and wonder what the hell I was thinking. Vikingligr Veldi doesn't cause that unfortunate after-effect, but there are times, particularly during the first few listens, that the droning repetitive nature of some of these songs can get tiresome. I acknowledge that Enslaved were going for establishing an atmosphere that takes one back to Nordic times when mead was drunk from a large animal horn, but stretching a song to twice its length to establish a mood is a tricky venture if what is being stretched is not engaging enough to warrant such a monumental extension.

Musically it doesn't stray far from Norwegian black metal, with some cool riffs here and there, a few oddly interesting keyboards and an enthusiastic drummer who probably spends a lot of time panting when he's away from the kit. It does stand out from the more satanic stuff Norway was pumping out in droves at the time by avoiding most of the non music based clichés (corpsepaint, killing each other, etc.) and focusing on soundscapes that actually work in establishing a unique tone to their work that few of their peers could touch. It's a landmark album, and a classic concerning Norway's black metal scene, but Enslaved would eventually evolve into something even greater, while many other black metal bands had hit their peak in the early 90s and were about to slide into also-rans.

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Send comments to Prog Sothoth (BETA) | Report this review (#756050) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 21, 2012

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5 stars It's true that this first release from Enslaved, the now Extreme Progressive Metal band is not very progressive at all. You only get a few hints of what's to come from the acoustic passages and keyboards in between the tremolo-picked black metal riffs. It does get repetitive at times, but that's ... (read more)

Report this review (#200443) | Posted by Utukku | Saturday, January 24, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This brings back memories.......... I actually interviewed Grutle and Ivar for a major Norwegian music magazine at the time of this release. They were very intelligent guys with a vision. Some months later, hell broke loose with the slaying of their record lable manager and the media circus calle ... (read more)

Report this review (#186966) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, October 26, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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