For Fans Of
There is something highly endearing about a band that gives the proverbial ‘middle finger’ to dictated convention. It is a stoic stance that carries a certain level of respect. Sure, sometimes the ability to alter musical frameworks may end in a train wreck but on the odd occasion, it delivers something special. Eleventh studio album entitled, ‘Axioma Ethica Odini’ from Scandinavian stalwarts Enslaved is perhaps reflective of the latter.
Incorporating equally prominent and similarly strong doses of both black metal and prog rock, Enslaved have delivered one of 2010’s more noteworthy metal releases. Let’s face it, when you are billed as a Norwegian Viking black metal band with a strong liking for prog rock, the ears are always going to prickle with interest (irrespective of the actual sound itself).
Contemporary sensibilities meet an old school nostalgia here. If Mastodon decided to wack on the corpse paint while still maintaining some of their prog styling’s, the end result might sound something like what ‘Axioma Ethica Odini’ offers. Put simply, the album is a nine-track composite of articulate, profound and interesting metal.
There is an abundance of drawn-out musical passages. The positive though, is none of it comes across as a tool for merely filling in time and/or space. The arrangement is deliberate and executed so precisely that detractors are best served throwing their ridicule at bands that actually deserve it –Brokencyde, anybody?
‘Ethica Odini’ is the perfect introduction, with a heavy presence that is essentially like a musical abstract, outlining the direction for what lay ahead. ‘Night Sight’ is a throw back to the 70’s, while ‘Waruun’ mixes a trippy chorus with raspy refrains and confronting guitar lines. Other memorable tracks include, ‘Lightening’ and ‘Raidho’, which both reinforce the variety as well as assurances found in the Enslaved sound. As a blanket statement, ‘Axioma Ethica Odini’ is dark and heavy but balanced by a lighter and moodier rock theme.
This is not empty praise or acclaim for the sake of acclaim, Enslaved have created a release that thoroughly deserves recognition. Approaching twenty years as a band, no cracks appear to be forming. Brilliant.
No grandiose assertions are needed. ‘Axioma Ethica Odini’ speaks for itself. Enslaved’s eleventh studio album might just be at the top of the band’s lengthy musical pile. Undoubtedly, one of metal’s brightest points of 2010. Anyone looking for a solid heavy release need look no further, because as the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding.
1. Ethica Odini
4. The Beacon
8. Night Sight