Reviews Enslaved RIITIIR

Enslaved

RIITIIR

the black metal horde Enslaved seems to have been around forever. Unlike most bands of their genre and pedigree they have managed to add elements to their style to make themselves more their own band with each release. Each album has flirted with their Pink Floyd fascination while stripping away the unneeded kvlt aspects of the band's sound. For most familiar with the band the only question regarding their 12th full length would be "how far are they going to take said prog elements?"

Well we get to find out pretty early on as "Thoughts like Hammers" attempts to wreck speakers With a deceptively tradition sounding blackened opening. Soon thereafter listeners are treated to the first of many mood shifts within this song. By allowing room for melodic vocals and contemplative instrumentation the band also allows the song to grow organically. By the end of the 9 minute opener the band has fully cemented a basic idea of what to expect throughout the running time. Melodic pieces weave themselves in and out within the course of single songs making the listener both comforted and intrigued by the supposed calm that is waiting to be broken by Grutle's (vocalist/bassist) throaty rasp. 

Each song has it's basic start and end but what is truly important is what the band manage to fit in between those moments. With flashes of brilliance that recall classic prog and metal without ever losing the plot of becoming too overbearing. Things that shouldn't feel normal come to draw the listener in and make the abnormal feel completely acceptable within the realm of a metal record.

More than a few bands flirt with combining genres including a deep study of their most glaring influences. Enslaved, on the other hand, have moved beyond most of their peers by using their abilities and experience to help them include whatever they feel into an album without ever seeming overindulgent or shoehorning in sounds and movements just because they sound cool. 
It would be easy to assume the band could after more than 20 years sit around sift through their back catalog and release whatever collection of crap they want. Instead we as listeners get to be treated to something more, a band moving foward while retaining the ability to reach to their past without fear of regurgitation.

8.4 / 10Jon E.
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8.4 / 10

8.4 / 10

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