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Album Reviews : Enslaved – In Times

By on March 16, 2015

Enslaved - In Times - Artwork Just when you visit the thought that a band couldn’t possibly get any  better, they record something new that is an absolute smack-in-the-  face and which serves as a reminder that they’re undoubtedly one of  the finest bands known to mankind. Bergen black metallers  Enslaved have done exactly that with their latest offering In Times  an album that has once again knocked off the boundaries of any  genre-labelling and proved the consistent evolution of the band’s  unique sound and their ability  to experiment.

Wasting hardly a second, In Times begins with the blistering ‘Thurisaz Dreaming’, that erupts into an absolute brain-rattler of a track that captures the black metal side of Enslaved. The guitars are raw and combine perfectly with the sheer monstrosity of  on the drums, this riff-laden track,  Grutle Kjellson’s venomous growls are enough to send chills down your spine, even when those hypnotic clean vocals courtesy of the mastermind keyboardist Herbrand Larsen make their presence. Following the aural attack of the first one, ‘Building With Fire’ proves to be a more mid-paced track set in a rather grim atmosphere . Once again the harsh and clean vocals interwoven with the blend of soothing ambient sounds and of course the more brutal elements . The transition of heavy to slow is a Enslaved signature, almost as if they’re reminding you what exactly makes them stand apart.

‘Nauthir Bleeding’ is by far, one of the strongest tracks by the band written till date with a captivating intro and definitely one of the most progressive. The hypnotic vocals and melodic instrumentation bring out their more harmonious and mellow side. It’s no wonder Grutle features on the new Rise of Avernus EP – the two bands think alike! Their ability to shift unpredictably from a supersonic riff to a more melodic and atmospheric tune is impeccable. Album closer ‘Daylight’ is another fine example of how this band maintains that  balance between outright heavy and brutal elegance. A proggy intro with an epic atmosphere that eventually picks up, you’d have never imagined that a black metal band makes this post-metal/rock influence work so perfectly. The musicianship is undoubtedly of the finest quality possible with each member standing out on their respective instruments.

It’s normal to make comparisons with the past work of band’s and deliberating whether or not they have managed to stay ‘up-to-the-mark’ so to speak. In Times does spark memories of older Enslaved with it’s dedication to that raw, thrashy blackened death sound that only Norwegians seem to know how to master but it doesn’t just stop there. Keeping up with the times, Enslaved have masterfully managed to blend the charm of progressive metal with the epic brutality of black metal to create a record that is undoubtedly among the most complex and unique. There is no sense of repetition as is the case with many albums today but an underlying connection between each track that shows the kind of musicianship of these Norwegian metallers. A brilliant album that is highly recommended to old Enslaved fans and new as well as those who appreciate bands that boast originiality with every release.

Band: Enslaved
Album: In Times
Year: 2015
Genre: Black/Progressive metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
Origin: Norway

Tracklist:
1. Thurisaz Dreaming
2. Building With Fire
3. One Thousand Years Of Rain
4. Nauthir Bleeding
5. In Times
6. Daylight

About

Prarthana is a vegan, Indo-Aussie, heavy music addict, fluent in sarcasm and metal. Traveling is an obsession as she enjoys taking in the history of various countries and following her favorite bands. She's either eating, teaching grammar or learning an instrument, when not occupied with windmilling in the faces of other humans.