ENSLAVED – Below the Lights
[*This is my first introduction to the band*]
From the opening seconds of As `Fire Swept Clean the Earth’ I was very attentive. When the Guitar, Bass and Drums came thundering in I was in instantly captivated and by the end of the 6:30 opening track I can safely say this is probably the finest Black Metal I’ve ever heard. (Granted my BM Experience is limited to say the least.)
I definitely love the Progressive influence… It is heard throughout the entire CD: Seven beautifully dark songs filled with some of the finest song writing I’ve heard since Opeth.
I’d like to consider myself a big Metal Head… But Black-Metal is genre I’ve usually steered away from… And I generally viewed it as too One-Dimensional. (With the Exception `Old Man’s Child’ newest album: Vermin – That album is amazing.) I read one of the reviews saying Enslaved is the Black-Metal `Opeth’ and to a certain degree I would have to agree… They are both clearly leading their respective Genre with Talent, Creative, and Progression. Both also blend the use of traditional Metal vocals with actually singing. Sound wise, Enslaved are definitely black metal but blend in lots of other influences. At times I hear hints of the fore mentioned `Opeth’ (mainly on the closer: A Darker Place during the slower parts.) I also hear some `Amorphis’. (Specially, on the track Havenless.) or even `Agalloch’ (Who also blend Black Metal w/ Prog and Folk influences.) Also I hear many guitar parts that actually sound like they came off a, `King Crimson’ or a `Porcupine Tree’ CD.
No matter what type of Heavy Progressive you like, I can say with certainty that I am confident you will like Enslaved’s Below the Lights CD. It is a powerful journey into the depths of a genre while still pushing the bounds of Black Metal… Atmospheric, beautiful yet at times dark and punishing. At this point I’ve only given the album 2 spins and I know this album will unfold more and more upon each listen. [ I also picked up their latest `ISA' which is also incredible]
Favorite Songs: The Dead Stare, Queen of the Night, and A Darker Place.
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