Enslaved
Ruun


4.5
superb

Review

by NemesisDivina USER (3 Reviews)
June 1st, 2007 | 79 replies | 15,976 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An Excellent Album from an even better band.

Many people are surprised to hear that Enslaved has been around since 1991. But yes, Enslaved is one of the pioneers of the Black/Viking Metal genre. Their music has ranged from pure black/viking metal in their early days to their sound now which is more of a progressive/black metal. Formed when the lead men of the band were 17 and 13, Enslaved has evolved and gained new knowledge into their musical genre and from that they were able to create this incredible release: RUUN

Enslaved's incredible lineup including Arve Isdal's work on the guitar leads to a great performance overall from the band. Most of their riffs are pretty simple, yet catchy. The bass appropriately backs the guitars without doing too much. Grutle's bass work isn't too flashy, he has to concentrate on his vocals. Grutle's vocals are either a love'em or hate'em kind of voice. They are a high pitched, gravely sort of shriek that fits perfectly with the music. Enslaved also uses effective backing vocals which include everything from death roars to soft, emotional clean vocals on (my personal favorite) Path to Vanir. Even though the clean vocals are in a somewhat broken form of English due to Enslaved's Norwegian ancestry, they still make it work into the music so that it blends very well and sounds great.

First, the guitar work on the album, as I stated before isn't too complicated although it blends perfectly with the music. The swirling harmonies created by Arve Isdal and Ivar Bjørnson are borderline addicting and hypnotic. For the long period of time that I was hopelessly addicted to this album, I found myself developing a headache if I wasn't listening to this CD constantly. The riffs are just so damn catchy. The song Path to Vanir was stuck in my head for over a week... no wait. It's still stuck in my head. It's enough that the two guitarists work in perfect harmony, but no there's more! Arve Isdal's solos are also incredible. He manages to capture the entire emotion and feeling of the song in his fretwork, which is fantastic but no exceedingly technical.

The drumming from Cato Bekkevold is pretty average. However, it fits with the music perfectly, which adds to the hypnotic feeling of the entire album. He's not a very fast drummer. He is much more focused on utilizing his entire drum set, especially the cymbals instead of most black metal drummers who seem to be fascinated with the concept of blast beats. Cato is a good drummer, but it's the atmosphere that his drums create that really set the hypnotic tone for the entire album.

My personal favorite song is Path to Vanir, which has the most catchy riff by far in the entire album. I also love how Enslaved uses their strong backing vocals to catch the attention of the listener and take them on a journey through a frozen land.

My next favorite song is Fusion of Sense and Earth which is one of the faster songs on the album. The guitar work involves some brilliantly crafted tremolo picked riffs and a 'chugga-chugga' sounding riff that is incredible. However, the standout for me on this song is Grutle's vocals. It is by far his best performance on the album. The vocals are the driving force of the song.

The only part about this album that I didn't like was it's replay value. Even though the riffs are very catchy, the album IS a tad repetitive which doesn't take much away at all from the overall score. Some of the riffs seem very similar and Grutle doesn't have much of a vocal range, which is made up for by the brilliant backing vocals.

Highlights:
Path to Vanir, Fusion of Sense and Earth, RUUN, Entroper
Great backing vocals and guitar work.

Negatives:
Somewhat repetitive, the drumming isn't too great.

Enslaved is:

Ivar Bjørnson: Guitars/Keyboards
Arve Isdal: Lead Guitar
Grutle Kjellson: Vocals/Bass
Herbrand Larson: Keyboards/Vocals
Cato Bekkevold: Drums


user ratings (354)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Noelle Winstead (4.5)
Norway's finest...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jom
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2007


2674 Comments


Looks good to me, dude... let me move the line-up towards the bottom of the review, though... site policy, as dictated by the owner. Welcome, though, and good work.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2007


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

welcome to sputnikmusic my name is chan and i will be your hostess

Slaapkamers
June 1st 2007


596 Comments


It's ok.

NemesisDivina
June 1st 2007


141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Whew, I've been waiting to review this album for a while now, and I finally found some time.

I've got to say I'm pretty happy with my first review.

Angmar
June 1st 2007


2689 Comments


Sweet first review, I have Isa and Below the Lights, so i'll surely check this out. Good work :thumb:

NemesisDivina
June 1st 2007


141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, I was looking at other reviews and saw that the fans here on sputnik don't happen to be big fans of the song-by-song review so I made sure I wasn't doing that.

Angmar
June 1st 2007


2689 Comments


Yeah, this type of review is a much better way to go, sweet avatar by the way.

NemesisDivina
June 1st 2007


141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You like Death?
My profile picture is the picture of Schuldiner on the inside cover of ITP

Angmar
June 1st 2007


2689 Comments


Death rules, I reviewed Symbolic, and Path to Vanir is an awesome song.

NemesisDivina
June 1st 2007


141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Symbolic's my favorite album

m/

Hey, how do you use italics in your reviews?This Message Edited On 06.01.07

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2007


6094 Comments


[ i ] insert text here [ /i ]

without the spaces in the brackets

same goes for bolding [ b ] [ /b ]

NemesisDivina
June 1st 2007


141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ahhh thank you

BallsToTheWall
June 2nd 2007


44294 Comments


isas my personal favorite but ruun is pretty sick

Digging: Tiamat - Clouds

NemesisDivina
June 2nd 2007


141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, Isa is on my wish list. I should be able to pick it up pretty soon. I've heard great things about it.

Angmar
June 2nd 2007


2689 Comments


Isa is Spectacular.

jrowa001
June 2nd 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great review, i love this and isa the same. i need some of their earlier albums

Tyler
Emeritus
June 2nd 2007


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Eld > Anything else they've done. Seriously check it out.

Confessed2005
June 2nd 2007


3314 Comments


Awesome review - keep reviewing and I am sure you will become an established member of the sputnik community .

I still need to check Enslaved out; I have heard a great deal about them and when I was in Reading, someone in an Enslaved shirt nodded at me in acknowledgment (metalheads tend to have a connection with each other, haha).

NemesisDivina
June 2nd 2007


141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, their old stuff is great.
Classic Enslaved

Wizard
June 2nd 2007


19383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Classic Enslaved doesnt even come close to this album and Isa. These albums are so much more flushed out and they actually contain some differing characteristics amongst the songs. Good review for a newby too!

Digging: Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra - The Key to the Gates of the Apocalypse



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