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  • If Swervedriver made black metal, it might sound like this. Whether or not British shoegazers influenced Enslaved, the note choices, harmonies, and sonic density here recall “Mezcal Head.” While standard black metal elements are present, such as double bass drums, keyboards, and the occasional shrieking vocal, Enslaved has carved out its own unique, abstract sound. Curiously, the album is never really heavy, fast, or evil. Riffs chug along with the aforementioned shoegazer vibe, punctuated by well-placed clean vocals. The twists and turns that do occur are organic and natural, suggesting a `70’s prog-rock influence; in terms of prog to rock ratio, Voivod comes to mind. This is not the most immediate listen, but repeated spins reveal a rich, masterful complexity.

    Posted on February 7, 2010