Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

UTGARD

Enslaved

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Enslaved Utgard album cover
3.88 | 36 ratings | 3 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

Buy ENSLAVED Music
from Progarchives.com partners
Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fires in the Dark (5:59)
2. Jettegryta (4:56)
3. Sequence (6:39)
4. Homebound (5:29)
5. Utgarđr (1:51)
6. Urjotun (4:21)
7. Flight of Thought and Memory (6:22)
8. Storms of Utgard (4:38)
9. Distant Seasons (4:31)

Total Time 44:46

Line-up / Musicians

- Grutle Kjellson / vocals, basses, Fx
- Ivar Bjørnson / guitar, synth, Fx, backing vocals
- Arve Isdal / lead guitar
- Håkon Vinje / keyboards, vocals
- Iver Sandøy / percussion, Fx, backing vocals, drums

Releases information

Label: Nuclear Blast
Format: Vinyl, CD, Cassette, Digital
October 2, 2020

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy ENSLAVED Utgard Music




More places to buy ENSLAVED music online

ENSLAVED Utgard ratings distribution


3.88
(36 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
22%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (11%)
11%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

ENSLAVED Utgard reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Few metal bands keep me interested over the long haul so that i eagerly await their next release more than Norway's ENSLAVED. This extreme metal band from Bergen has been slaying the metal world like a band of restless Vikings for almost 30 years now after having formed in Haugesund, Norway and having delivered 17 albums to date with an uncanny ability to maintain a high quality of product with only a a very few hiccoughs such as the somewhat generic "Blodhemn" or the stuck in a rut "In Times" but even those albums weren't bad at all and simply paled in comparison to the stronger albums that surrounded them. Debuting with the first release "Vikingligr Veldi," ENSLAVED has been instrumental in straddling the world of black metal, Viking metal and folk metal while adding increasing elements of progressive rock all the while finding innovative ways of changing things up just enough to keep their music fresh yet familiar.

Following the strong 2017 release "E," the band returns with its 17th full-length studio album UTGARD which continues the never-ending themes and stories mined from Norse mythology. This anglicized term from the original Útgarðar refers to a formidable giant featured in the myths where Thor and Loki compete in rigged competitions held in the Outyards. It seems ENSLAVED are in no danger of running out of inspiration from these ancient tales and musically speaking sound as strong as ever. With a stronger focus on traditional folk melodic developments and a more egalitarian mix of clean and growly vocals, UTGARD is perhaps ENSLAVED's most successful attempt at fusing the black, Viking and folk sounds with classic elements of 70s prog which includes beautiful atmospheric sweeps, keyboard drenched melodic scaffolding and occasional symphonic orchestrated lushness. While time signature complexities seem to have been tamped down, a few unorthodox angularities find their way into the mix. UTGARD in many ways focuses more on the melodic stampede of sound rather than sprawling prog behemoths and looks back to ideas gestated from the 90s along with more modern musical developments.

The opening "Fires In The Dark" wastes no time setting the tone of UTGARD with folk melodies, ritualistic chants and classic folk metal accoutrements before unleashing the black metal bombast which has been a staple of ENSLAVED's signature sound since day one. "Jettegryta" showcases a much stronger sense of battle call backings in the form of keyboard excesses that create a perfect counterpoint to the extreme heavy metal riffing which at times such as in "Sequence" harken to the classic metal years of grooves mined from Judas Priest and Iron Maiden only teased into splendiferous Viking epic tales that include lush atmospheric extras and the call and response vocal efforts of the legendary growls of Grutle Kjellson with the suave clean contrast of Håkon Vinje. With the prog workouts are less and the metal gallops turned up a few notches, UTGARD is noticeable different than prior efforts from the start and remain that way til the very last notes of the spooky melodic touches of "Distant Seasons" and with a classic LP album running time of only shy of 45 minutes doesn't outstay its welcome.

While prog has been a prominent feature of ENSLAVED's agenda dating back to 2001's "Monumension" when it became the dominant feature, on UTGARD this team of musical Vikings tends to look past the mere cliche constructs of the past and forges ahead into different prog related territories most noticeably on the the Krautrock inspired "Urjotun" which follows the even stranger two-minute "Utgardr" which teases out a Norse poetic prose accompanied by a creepy summoning of spectral sounds that emerge from places you'd probably best avoid. On "Urjotun" however ENSLAVED delves into the world of Neu! inspired motorik and adapts it nicely to UTGARD's already established folk / prog / black metal touches. Songs also excel in brevity with only two exceeding six minutes.

With so many long established metal acts falling into the expected traps of burning out, ENSLAVED never fails to surprise me with yet another excellent release that sounds like no other even within their own canon. While few ENSLAVED albums reach the height of perfection, almost all race past the excellence mark with ease. UTGARD is absolutely no exception at all and changes things up in unexpected ways once again as this band sallies forth into its 30 year mark of Teutonic rage wrapped up in musical sui generis. With this 17th album ENSLAVED proves once again why they remain firmly perched near the top of the metal hierarchy as they inch closer to status of patron sainthood in metal circles as they seem utterly incapable of substandard musical deliveries for even a scant moment of time. It's really hard for me to pick a favorite album by this great band since each one excels on its own merits and never wimps out despite its members getting on with their years and the greatest gift of all is that the flame of creativity only grows brighter with each release. Perhaps UTGARD will not entice new blood into the clan but it is guaranteed to please long time followers who relish the crafty balance of what came before with new innovation. ENSLAVED has another winner on its hands.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I have had an on-off relation with Enslaved since their 2010's Axioma Ethica Odini. Of that album, I appreciated the ambition to combine progressive elements with a pure and uncompromised form of Viking black metal. But I have always felt that the end-result of that album is a bit too rough for my l ... (read more)

Report this review (#2487207) | Posted by lukretio | Wednesday, December 23, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The latest studio album by Enslaved is a great one. The albums concept and namesake is a mythical place in Norse mythology called Utgard. The songs on the album all center around that theme, with the giants being a metaphor for "uncontrollable forces in nature and in your own mind," as said by f ... (read more)

Report this review (#2454466) | Posted by progtime1234567 | Tuesday, October 6, 2020 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of ENSLAVED "Utgard"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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

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

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

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