For Fans Of
Norwegian veterans Enslaved are supported by a collective mindset of never letting genre limitations bound the eventual output. While prominently black metal early on, the Scandinavians have favoured slower, rock elements in their later years . A sign of maturity and ageing or simply a reflection of experience? The band’s 13th studio album (that’s an achievement!), ‘In Times,’ combines the two career ranges – Enslaved‘s love for progressive rock is again present with their blistering black metal styles also apparent.
Opening track, ‘Thurisaz Dreaming,’ adopts the progressive flavours. However, the accompanying vocals that hit your ears with inherent force help give the song fury. The clean vocals and slower tempo that meet you two minutes in, while perhaps polarising, are a reflection of a band comfortable in direction.
‘Building With Fire’ takes the listener into another universe. Yes, it’s another dividing track, but you can’t deny the intent. This is a band challenging preconceptions and allowing themselves to grow musically.
While there are only six songs, no song goes for less than eight minutes so there is a lot of substance to every track (it is Enslaved after all). The intense blasting of the drums and the deep, dirty growls that empower the songs and mix with the angelic clean vocals work really well to accentuate the darkness in the album and create atmosphere. Closer ‘Daylight’ offers the listener more technicality with its raging guitar solo.
Essentially, a lot of this record might not have the technical metal elements or the brutality that some fans are looking for, but there is no denying that the production and arrangement still make this a polished and worthy album.
‘In Times’ is an album that sees Enslaved try to master the blend of progressive rock and black metal that they have explored in the past few years. The full-length goes from rock with even some pop style metal to everything dark, dirty and brutal. It has some solid moments but the heavy incorporation of softer rock will divide fans.
Building With Fire
One Thousand Years Of Rain