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Enslaved - Eld CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.74 | 76 ratings

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4 stars Eld combines the technicality and fury of Frost with the epic glory of Vikingligr Veldi. The frequent clean chants and variations in tempo and instrumentation turn this harsh and extreme metal into an enjoyable and mature black metal classic.

793 commemorates a Viking victory over the Lindisfarne monastery in England, one of the first big Viking raids. It clearly inspired the guys for a surging 16 minutes attack of epic and anthemic metal glory, the songs has plenty of variation in tempo and melody, clean chants and harsh singing. Hordalendingen is entirely different, fast, technical, thrashy and furious. Harsh technical black metal. The pagan chant that serves as chorus lightens up the proceedings. Together with the opener it offers the best 21 minutes of early Enslaved music.

The remainder of the album rarely goes beneath the standard set by the first two tracks. Alfablot is another 6 minutes of black metal rage with a number of symphonic accents and sparse clean vocals to balance the turmoil. Kvasirs Blod alternates between black metal blast beats, thrash metal and slower paced funeral doom sections. But by the time For Lenge Siden comes along, we're a good 35 minutes into the album and as usual with this kind of music, the experience gets rather exhausting. The 8 uncompromisingly harsh minutes of this track offer no relief. Also Glemt is hard to sit through but the it slows down a bit over halfway and a section with spacey keyboards and clean singing predicts the more traditional prog leanings of later Enslaved. The album closer Eld dwells in similar territory

The production is harsh and dirty and spoils some of the listening experience, but if you manage to ignore the tin can drums and the overstressed high end frequencies, the album is a real treat and one of the greatest albums in the black metal genre. It's rather long for music of this intensity but if you ignore the lesser moments, there's still a good 45 minutes of excellence.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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