Vera : Out of the shadowy underground of the first wave of Norwegian black metal, Enslaved has worked their way up to an important first class band in the post black metal era with loads of progressive influences ornamenting their raucousness. Founder members Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson were respectively thirteen and seventeen years old when first playing a guitar in group, it is only natural that they have gone through an interesting development as musicians since then. Since the ‘ISA’ album it only got better, with inventive songs and magnificent compositions far beyond the boundaries of the initial blackened genre.
Early March the thirteenth album ‘In Times’ will hit the stores and this successor of ’Riitiir’ (2012) is once again a piece of art we can highly recommend to every fan of extreme yet progressive metal. The long production process in numerous studios has resulted in a mighty present for the fans, being six lengthy compositions. ‘Thurisaz Dreaming’ is the first song with a ferocious start with pulverizing screams and fast tempo. This overwhelming beginning is tempered in a sublime manner by the clean, smooth vocals of keyboardist Herbrand Larsen. This vocal melody will soon haunt you and it will be the so-called escort to fathom the merciless harsh passages and progressive twists and turns. Indeed, Enslaved plays on a lonesome high level, more than once they remind us of a young Opeth.
‘Building With Fire’ is embedded between sounds of forgery, but it instantly captivates you by its melancholic, moody clean chants contra rough screams. Yet do mark how intelligent soloing and frivolous bass intermezzos with synths brings this to perfection. The semi-acoustic start of ‘One Thousand Years Of Rain’ (an apocalyptic vision) leads towards juicy growls, while we can spot an opulence of inventive guitar runs. This is really a delicious song, in which clean chants happens to be the icing on the cake one more time. Actually every song is built up around those ingredients, one time relished with a fervent solo of Ice Dale (‘Nauthir Bleeding’), then again working with the contrast between savage furies and fluttering spatial beauty in a natural way, giving an extra zest on the title track. Those who can create a song such as ‘Daylight’, uniting the essence of extreme metal with the contemplative beauty of Pink Floyd, deserve eternal fame and honour. Just take that glorious guitar solo as extra. Obligatory purchase or said in a popular way: A MUST HAVE!