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Enslaved Blodhemn album cover
3.27 | 63 ratings | 6 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Intro (1:11)
2. I Lenker Til Ragnarok (5:38)
3. Urtical Gods (3:19)
4. Ansuz Astral (4:54)
5. Nidingaslakt (3:22)
6. Eit Auga Til Mimir (4:24)
7. Blodhemn (5:32)
8. Brisinghamen (3:30)
9. Suttungs Mjod / Perkulator (outro) (7:47)

Total Time 39:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Grutle Kjellson / vocals, bass
- Ivar Bjørnson / guitars, keyboards
- Roy Kronheim / guitar
- Per Husebø ("Dirge Rep") / drums

Releases information

CD Osmose Productions ‎- OPCD 063 (1998, France)

LP Osmose Productions ‎- OPLP 063 (1998, France)

Thanks to ivansfr0st for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ENSLAVED Blodhemn ratings distribution

(63 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

ENSLAVED Blodhemn reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Bloodhemn is the fourth studio album from Norwegian black/ viking metal band Enslaved. This album is the last in a series of what can be considered the early albums from Enslaved. After this album Enlaved would change their style toward a more experimental extreme metal approach.

The music on Bloodhemn is in many ways similar to the style Enslaved played on their previous album Eld. Generally fast paced black metal with viking lyrics. The songs are better composed and much more powerful than the ones on Eld though. This is not technical music but the impact is powerful, raw and even majestic at times. The vocals are both black metal rasps and clean monotenous vocals.

Standout tracks would be the memorable and powerful I Lenker Til Ragnarok, Ansuz Astral ( Note the grand ending to the song) and the last song Sutungs Mjød/ Perkulator which is a bit different from the rest of the songs. It´s much slower and solely features clean singing. There is also a folky ethnic touch to that song.

The musicianship is very strong at this point. Dirge Rep on drums is a fast and tight drummer while Ivar Bjørnson´s grand and brutal guitar riffing is also a great feature. Grutle´s harsh black metal screaming is an aquired taste but personally I like it.

The production is really sharp yet still raw and brutal.

Bloodhemn still doesn´t reveal many progressive tendencies in Enslaved´s music and it´s essentially a black metal album that should hold little or no interest to prog heads. To those of us who in addition to being prog heads also enjoy extreme metal this is a great album though and it fully deserves 3 stars. I will still recommend that you listen to either Isa or RUUN before anything else from Enslaved even though Bloodhemn is definitely worth a listen.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Enslaved finally decided to produce an album professionally and it pays. This is Frost revisited with a blasting production: raw, crisp, sharp but also well balanced and powerful.

After the Nordic epic black metal of Eld, Enslaved returned to the shorter and more furious format of their defining album Frost. As with all the best of black metal, the music has a big majestic impact bound to entrance you with its relentless drone. The extremely aggressive Urtical Gods serves as an example and will bludgeon everyone who cares to listen with an open mind.

As an album this suffers from the well known metal syndrome called "Hey that sounds cool! Let's do that trick on every bar of every song we write on all our albums". It makes most tracks unnecessary except for a few gems like the mentioned Urtical Gods, Eit Auga Til Mimir, Blodhemn and the epic Nordic folk of Suttings Mjod.

After the next album, Enslaved grew into a progressive black metal unit that will be more pleasing to the people who spend their lives here. For me, they lost something in the process. Except for the chilling ISA, Enslaved gradually lost their edge in the next decade. Well they had a bit too much edge here! The next album Mardraum would loosen things a bit and perfect this style.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Blodhemn' - Enslaved (80/100)

The best thing about Enslaved has been their grand-scale evolution over years. The gradual shift from Nordic black metal to full-blown progressive metal sounds incredibly natural if you listen to the albums in order. More importantly, they managed to sound great at virtually every stage of their career. Even people who have never heard more than the band's name usually know of their organic progression. The thing that feels less-recognized, however, is the amount of variety they demonstrated within each era. I may not love all of Enslaved's music, but I could recognize the style of each of their albums as a distinct entity. Even on their shadiest days, they were making music that sounded unique.

It is wonderful how revisiting an album can completely change the story about it. For whatever reason, Blodhemn fell to the back of my memory. Like their previous album Eld, I thought it represented a slump in Enslaved's career that lacked the distinctive scope I'd expect to hear from them. Now, like Eld, I'm asking myself how I could have ever had that kind of impression from Blodhemn. Sure, it's straightforward even when compared to Frost, but Blodhemn is easily the most ravenous and aggressive outing from Enslaved's entire career. This coming from a band that's sometimes bored me for the fact they usually sound so goddamn restrained.

Would it be fair to call Blodhemn Enslaved's own Damned in Black? Yeah, the guys in Immortal put out that album a few years after this, but it's got a much stronger reputation as an album where thrash metal was injected into the blackened framework. Anyone who's listened to Immortal attentively enough could have seen those influences coming from a mile away. I don't think the same can be said in Enslaved's case. On Frost and Eld, the closest they ever came to thrash was being influenced by bands who were, in turn, themselves influenced by thrash-- namely Immortal. It's surprising enough that they took to thrash metal's riffs and greasy vibes on Blodhemn, and more surprising still that they nail it on the first try. Especially compared to the sleepy material post-Below the Lights which all sounds like it was produced by one of the knobs from AC/DC, I'm sort of shocked Enslaved had this sort of biting aggression in them.

If Eld mellowed out their sound at all, Blodhemn surely offered an opposing view of what Enslaved could sound by turning the table on themselves. Comparisons could probably be made between this pair, and the raw shift they took on Frost following the debut. Starting with the one-minute ambient intro (which sounds like Hawkwind inadvertently dropped in on the Battle of Lindisfarne) Blodhemn hints at their proggish influences without losing touch with speed and intensity. It's a lesson I wish some of Enslaved's later work had gleaned something from.

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars Something happened on album #4 from Norway's premiere progressive black metal band ENSLAVED. They actually had a retrograde. One of the things i love about this band is how they slowly ratchet themselves up progressively making each release a little bit more sophisticated than the rest for most of their career. Well, on BLODHEMN (Vengeance In Blood) we have a little step backwards in the quality department and although this is perfectly executed black metal in action, let's face it. We're talking about ENSLAVED here and substandard just doesn't cut the mustard, but it doesn't quite cut the cheese either. This is an example of a great band falling off a rung or two on the way up the ladder and even though this is probably my least favorite ENSLAVED album, it is by no means a five star example of suckdom. But neither is it one you will want to impregnate your iPod for the rest of your days. It is just OK. Nothing less, nothing more.

I think i nailed it with my black metal drummers critique on my review of "Eld." They are essentially the backbone of everything black metal. Once again we have a change of guard on the drumming duties and we have an exit stage right (Heavens to Murgatroyd) from Harald Helgeson and is replaced by Dirge Rep (Per Husebø). There is a noticeable quality issue going on here. BLODHEMN just doesn't seem as innovative, as tight nor as entertaining as any release prior or following, thus IMHO the nadir of ENSLAVED's career, but keep in mind, this is ENSLAVED we're talking about and even the lowest they can dip is still enough to float a ship. My least favorite album of theirs and probably the least that i go back to but this is by no means bad. Just not outstanding.

We can basically think of BLODSHEMN as the album where ENSLAVED got cold feet dipping into progressive waters and freaked friggin' out and retreated back to black metal central. Yes, all the attributes of "Eld" still find their way on BODSHEMN but other than the typical second wave black metal a la Darkthrone on board here, the other aspects that were progressing the band have become subdued and overpowered, therefore unlike the previous album, this one seems totally UNbalanced . It is mostly a highly aggressive black metal attack with previous elements thrown in willy-nilly.

However, just as i start to feel this album is a total washout it redeems itself at the end. We get more clean vocal monk chanting, we get more folky distractions, we get more, well progressive leanings. ENSLAVED redeems themselves with BLODSHEMN by the time we finish this album but at the cost of the album feeling very rushed or mal-conceived or just not up to par with what came before and definitely not with what came after. So in short, BLODSHEMN is a nice follow up to "Eld" focusing on their Viking metal stance and all but just doesn't quite cut the mustard in the progressive department. After all, they up their own ante many times and started a trend that they suddenly got all weirded out about, but have no fear! After this album things only get better. Much better in fact. While i find this the least enchanting ENSLAVED album in their discography is still so worth having. I mean how can you own all the rest and have this deleted from the collection?!! Seriously, bad in comparison to other ENSLAVED albums but still pretty good on the world's stage. 3.5 rounded down

Latest members reviews

2 stars I have a bit mixed feelings about that one. This album does not have one obvious stand-out track in comparison to the previous three albums. Also, the band has arguably streamlined and simplified their music ambitions. On the other hand, I like more sophisticated clean vocals emerging. The main ... (read more)

Report this review (#2438713) | Posted by sgtpepper | Monday, August 17, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars There's an incredible depth to the violence, passion, and beauty on Enslaved's CD Blodhemn. Few metal bands rival Enslaved's musical complexity and originality. And though they project an image of ancient Viking warriors, Enslaved create some of the most intense, razor sharp, and innovative metal ... (read more)

Report this review (#112939) | Posted by gradylee | Tuesday, February 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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