Fashioned during the elevation of Norwegian Black Metal, Enslaved survived the massive media onslaught during those tumultuous rocky years of Black Metal with church burnings and murders pretty much dominating rock and mainstream media, so to be carrying on extreme metal for over 20+ years now is something.
Black Metal for all of its ways of challenging the norms of music has a very narrow view on how things should be done and almost through the sensationalism it survived for others to take on that mantle but develop it further with bands like Emperor, Dimmu Borgir and indeed Enslaved diversifying the tonality of Black Metal with melodic passages, keyboards and better production.
`In Times’ is Enslaved’s new opus and boy is it fucking good, there are only 6 tracks on the album but if you know haven’t seen the development of Enslaved you would be looking at that thinking 6 tracks that’s a bit short but when the shortest comes in at just over 8 minutes and the longest `In Times’ wallops in at a whopping 10 minutes and 45 seconds, you could be thinking isn’t that too long and boring?
The simple answer to that is hell no, each track shows off just how far Enslaved have taken their brand of extreme metal, `Thurisaz Dreaming’ kicks off the proceedings with furious riffages and pounding drums with the distinct growling vocals of Grutle, yet the addition of the clean vocals really pushes the envelope and makes the song more appealing but the vocals here are more Viking hall than say your more traditional clean vocals that seems to dominate the award ceremonies.
Perhaps the best track, ok in my little opinion, is `In Times’. It truly displays just how to take extreme music over a 10 minute period and keep it interesting throughout, it doesn’t drag for a single moment, with every ounce of what Enslaved produce in abundance and excellently done.
Without doubt what Enslaved have produced here is a superb album and should be one of the albums on everyone’s top 10 by Christmas, with their unique approach to extreme metal, prog and atmospheric noises, Enslaved have created one of the albums you have to hear this year.
Stand out tracks:
`Thurisaz Dreaming’, `Building With Fire’ and `In Times’
10/10- Superb from the Norwegian extreme metal masters.
Building With Fire
One Thousand Years