I wasn’t prepared for this album, the first one I’ve purchased by Enslaved. I expected much more of a black metal sound because these guys were some of the originators of the genre and I’d heard older material. But this is nothing like I expected. For example the first song uses death metal, black metal and clean vocal stylings and the riffs don’t fit into any easy classification. The chords used throughout the CD are striking in their harmonic diversity and the song stuctures show a lot of musical maturity. Oh hell they just rip. These guys are creating some new fresh sounds that are punishing in their intensity and retain the emotional resonance of black metal. But they throw in many diverse elements as well. They even use flutes as an intro to one song and damned if it doesn’t work. Progressive Viking metal? What the hell do you call this and does it matter? Enslaved obviously have not been content to remain within the confines of black metal but have pushed themselves into creating some very original and brutal music. This is one of the best metal recordings released in the last year.