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Enslaved The Sleeping Gods album cover
3.21 | 27 ratings | 5 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Heimvegen (05:38)
2. Alu Misyrki (05:02)
3. Synthesis (06:19)
4. Nordlys (05:45)
5. The Sleeping Gods (05:44)

Total time: 28:28

Line-up / Musicians

- Ivar Bjørnson / Guitars, keyboards
- Grutle Kjellson / Vocals, bass
- Arve Isdal / Guitars
- Cato Bekkevold / Drums
- Herbrand Larsen / Keyboards, vocals, mellotron

Releases information

Released by Scion A/V as a free download:

Thanks to tupan for the addition
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ENSLAVED The Sleeping Gods ratings distribution

(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

ENSLAVED The Sleeping Gods 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 "The Sleeping Gods" is an EP release by Norwegian black metal/ progressive metal act Enslaved. "The Sleeping Gods" was electronically released on the 9th of May 2011 and made available for free legal download ( details in the album entry).

The EP contains 5 tracks and a full playing time of 28:28 minutes. Compared to the bandīs last release "Axioma Ethica Odini (2010)", the sound on "The Sleeping Gods" is a lot less metallic and more organic. Itīs amazing how sound production can change so much. "The Sleeping Gods" sound very different from "Axioma Ethica Odini". Enslavedīs core sound is intact but the 5 tracks on "The Sleeping Gods", see the band venture into unknown territories. As always Enslaved display a bold and adventurous approach to writing music. "Heimvegen" that opens "The Sleeping Gods" is probably the track on the EP that is closest in sound to how Enslaved have sounded the last couple of years. Epic and progressive black metal. The second track "Alu Misyrki" has a punked edge and itīs actually quite different and more direct than what weīre used to hearing from the band. Thatīs nothing against how surprising the ambient/ synth sequenced "Synthesis" sounds though. Itīs a bit long drawn for my taste, but it features a great dark atmosphere. "Nordlys" is like "Synthesis", a predominanlty instrumental piece ("Synthesis" features some eerie whispering). "Nordlys" has a kind of post-rock/ metal sound to it though. Again itīs rather different from the bandīs usual sound. The EP ends with the chanting/ folky/ tribal drumming title track. Itīs a bit repetitive but that is probably the point. Chants usually are. Itīs interesting to note that the primary language used in the lyrics is Norwegian. Itīs been a while since the band focused on their own language this much.

If you ask me "The Sleeping Gods" does what a good EP is suppossed to. It experiments and brings out ideas not necessarily suited for an artists "regular" studio albums. "The Sleeping Gods" is a very successful release in that respect. Quality wise I think the tracks on the EP are sligthly less interesting than the bandīs usually very high quality material, but "The Sleeping Gods" is still definitely a release both fans of the band and more casual listeners could find interesting. The latter group should take notice that the EP, as mentioned above, is offered up for free download. A 3.5 star rating is deserved.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'The Sleeping Gods' - Enslaved (64/100)

After a strong album in 2010 with 'Axioma Ethica Odini', Enslaved comes hot on that album's heels with a free EP. Giving fans their latest fix with a batch of five songs, 'The Sleeping Gods' does not feel like anything particularly significant in the band's catalogue, instead feeling like the band just wanting to get some more music out there for people to listen to and enjoy. For what this short album lacks in longevity and depth however, it is certainly enjoyable while it lasts, with each track taking its own very distinct path. Being arguably the most diverse thing that Enslaved has ever released in their career, 'The Sleeping Gods' is a good, interesting EP from the band, even if it may be little more than merely that.

The first song 'Heimvegen' is arguably the most typical Enslaved track that we have become used to hearing from albums like 'Vertebrae', and the latest. It is arguably the best thing that 'The Sleeping Gods' has to offer, and manages to pack some black metal, gradual build ups, as well as an epic chorus section to climax things. 'Alu Misyrki' isn't quite a s memorable, but it is certainly more energetic, taking the tempo up a few notches and diving deeper into black metal territory. Reaching the middle of the EP comes a big surprise from Enslaved, a six minute ambient soundscape piece called 'Synthesis'. Although it is certainly atmospheric, it does tend to get fairly boring and overdrawn, plodding on through muffled whispers and electronic ambiance. Although it is refreshing and to the EP's benefit to switch things up like this halfway through, 'Synthesis' could have likely had more of an impact were it somewhat shorter, as opposed to being the longest piece on the album.

If 'Synthesis' was surprise enough, then 'Nordlys' tops it. Enslaved has always been adventurous with what they do, but taking their sound into what feels more like post-punk than anything else was certainly an unexpected twist. 'Nordlys' is an instrumental track that begins off on a fairly upbeat note, sounding almost as if Enslaved were covering a track by The Cure, believe it or not. The track eventually barrels down to some heavier viking metal riffs, but the initial excitement makes it a very cool track. And lastly is a track that feels much more familiar to the Enslaved fan than the previous two; the title track. 'The Sleeping Gods' is a song that seeks out Enslaved's pagan folk roots; something that was explored as far back as the band's earliest albums. Led on by deep vocals from Grutle Kjellson and booming drums, the song has a presence to it, but it is a little derivative and feels like the band did this sound quite a bit better with early pagan songs like 'Yggdrasil', off 1994's 'Frost' record. In any case, it caps off 'The Sleeping Gods' in a somewhat triumphant mood, even if it may not be the best track here.

Although Enslaved has not created something I believe will hold much weight by the time the next album rolls around, there are few EPs or albums out there I can think of where each song is distinctive from one another. 'The Sleeping Gods' is a strong interim release from this band, and has made me excited to hear the next full-length from these giants of black metal.

Review by J-Man
3 stars Less than a year since Axioma Ethica Odini, and Norwegian progressive black metal act Enslaved have returned with a free digital EP to satisfy their hungry fanbase. After the fantastic milestone that was Axioma Ethica Odini, the direction Enslaved has chosen to pursue on The Sleeping Gods may come as a bit of a surprise to some people. The band clearly isn't content with re-hashing the same album over and over again, and The Sleeping Gods is actually quite an experimental release that covers a wide variety of genres. Although not quite on par with some of the band's full-length albums, The Sleeping Gods is a very worthy EP that offers just enough deviation from the band's typical sound to make it a unique effort in their growing discography.

The music on The Sleeping Gods is quite varied, and a decent amount of it completely defies Enslaved's progressive black metal label. On this album you can expect progressive rock, black metal, punk, ambient, post-rock, tribal chants, and just about everything in-between. The Sleeping Gods is not a "typical" Enslaved release, but it's of unquestionably high quality, regardless. "Heimvegen" is the most "traditional" Enslaved song here, seeing that it features an epic viking metal feel throughout. "Alu Misyrki" is a bit punky and quite different from anything I've ever heard previously from Enslaved. "Synthesis" and "Nordlys" are both instrumental tracks, the former being a dark ambient piece and the latter being a fantastic post rock track. "Synthesis" is too drawn-out for my tastes, but it does set up a haunting atmosphere, which I'm sure is the primary focus of the song. The closing song, "The Sleeping Gods", is a Norwegian tribal track that (like "Synthesis") is a bit too repetitive for my tastes, but it's a quality track nonetheless.

The production and musicianship are (unsurprisingly) extremely professional and well- done. Enslaved are an extremely talented act that manages to perfect many different styles on The Sleeping Gods, and their quality as musicians is never once in question. The EP also features an organic, 70's-styled production that sounds absolutely wonderful to these ears.

So even though The Sleeping Gods isn't the most successful Enslaved release out there, it's still an excellent addition to any fan's collection and a highly enjoyable listen. Enslaved is a band that never plays it safe, and it shows more than ever on this diverse and experimental EP. The Sleeping Gods is also available for free and legal download, so there's no reason not to check it out! The Sleeping Gods deviates from Enslaved's typical sound while still keeping the quality high, and that's exactly what makes for a good EP in my opinion. 3.5 stars are well-deserved.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Nice and diverse!

It is this EP by Norwegian band Enslaved, here labeled as a tech/extreme prog metal band, my ignorance on this genre does not allow me to explain and even understand the difference between its sub-genres, but well, labeling is not really what matters, but the music is. This is my first experience with this band, which has gained recognition and a lot of fans through the years, that is why I decided to listen to this free-to-download EP.

Entitled "The Sleeping Gods" it is a nice five-piece EP (28 minutes long) that shares different faces from the metal side of prog, and I do not really know if these diversity of sounds is characterized in the band's previous works, but it works here. The first track is "Heimvegen" , a nice opener song with predominant guitars but also wonderful keyboards as background. A think I instantly liked is that they sing in their native language (I believe) and that is always an extra point to me. However, in the second part of the song there is a voice speaking, which I don't completely like.

"Alu Misyrki" starts with a heavy-metal like guitar which seconds later is complemented by death vocals, creating a (pardon my redundancy) death-metal track. And the song continues like this, so this is definitely my least favorite track here. "Synthesis" has nothing to do with the previous tracks. This is a hypnotizing song, full of synthesizer atmospheres, colors and textures; it is like a spacey trip.

"Nordlys" is my favorite track here. It is repetitive but attractive nonetheless, I like especially guitars and drums. The sound is charming, not angry as the first tracks, here the music is progressing little by little and while the seconds pass, the instruments add different figures and elements, which gives richness to the track. The second part has some heavier stuff, but later returns to its original form.

And finally "The Sleeping Gods" which has a special tribal-like sound, a taste of some band's roots. It is cool to see different styles in an EP. That is what I liked the most here, of course, besides the fourth track. A worth listening one, so go and download it. My final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

Latest members reviews

4 stars The Sleeping Gods is one of Enslaved's best releases IMO because of its progressive quality. Isn't that why we're all here? It shows the band moving into previously unexplored territory. At the same time, it maintains Enslaved's typical high level of composing and performing. I give The Sle ... (read more)

Report this review (#1270946) | Posted by thwok | Saturday, September 6, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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