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(22 Reviews)

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  • This is the band that got me into black metal. Before them, I ignorantly thought the black metal scence was all mindless bible-bashing and simple song structures. Now, some of my favorite music is black metal, although I’m only familiar with the bands from the more progressive side of the scene. Enslaved have only gotten better and better with each album, and this is probably their best yet. “Mardraum” and “Monumension” were both a little more complex and progressive in some ways, but I think this works better. Both of those earlier albums, especially “Mardraum,” had a sort of raw, grating tone to them that didn’t go very well with the progressive elements of the music, and could get tiresome after a while. This one is much smoother. Some of the arrangements on here are just plain brilliant-the guitarwork flows over you effortlessly. The progressive weirdness actually adds to the catchiness of the songs, and this may be the greatest achievement of all. The odd-ball elements also contribute to the atmosphere in a convoluted kind of way-this album is very atmospheric, with all the darkness and sadness of black metal. I think the drums are programmed in places, which may be my only complaint. This is not only for people into black metal-if you’re interested in progressive music of any kind, and can handle a bit of screeching, I would say buy this immediately. If you’re looking for traditional straight-ahead viking metal, try their earlier releases, like “Blodhemn.”

    Posted on December 23, 2009