Following the epic release of 'Viking LigrVeldi' in 1994, Enslaved returned only a few months later with the release of 'Frost.' This album is equal to, if not outdoing their previous works.
By this time, Enslaved had already grown a cult following of fans with several demos, a split with Emperor (which is now incredibly hard to get your hands on) and of course their debut 'Viking LigrVeldi.'
This Enslaved's 2nd release, released on Osmose records along with Bathory's 'Hammerheart' is one of the defining viking metal albums.
Trym Torson : Drums, percussion
Grutle Kjellson : Vocals, bass, mouthharp
Ivar Bj°rnson : Guitars, electronics
Eirik "Pyten" Hundvin : Fretless bass (Track 5)
This album comes at you with both a roaring wave of intense black metal with viking themes and a very calm folk side that is seldom seen in this day and age of music. With intense tracks like Loke and the classic Jotunblod Enslaved captures a sense of pride in their heritage through fast, aggresive music. The drumming of Trym (of Emperor fame) shines through the brutal riffage of the guitars, keeping up the with the wails of Grutle Kjellson throughout the fastest of riffs.
Enslaved does not shy away from folk music on this album, combining acoustics with slow electrics and synths, paving the way for bands like Ensiferum and Einherjer and the likes. The tracks Fenris, Yggdrasil and Isoders Dronning put on a clinic on how viking metal is supposed to be done by the fathers of Viking metal.
Enslaved touches on many aspects of metal on this album, using synths where they are needed to give a song a boost. With Gylfaginning, Enslaved combines the synths to create an awesome atmosphere much like the cover portrays the album to be. Not to mention this song has one of the few guitar solos on the album.
This album is relentless on it's attack on the ear, this along with most of Enslaved's older albums cannot be compared to the new stuff such as 'Below the Lights' and 'Isa.' Enslaved hasn't taken a new direction with the new stuff, but rather matured and progressed over time. 'Frost' is raw, gut-wrenching and extreme while 'Below the Lights' is more mellow and and progressive, essentially leaving behind the raw black metal attitude. This being a turn for better.
The only real knock on this album would be some out of place synths, for the most part they are used perfectly but there are certain spots where the synths ruin the feeling of the song.
Rating: 4/5 for anyone new to the genre.
Rating: 4.7/5 and must for anyone who is familiar with this genre.
Not bad considering Ivar was 16 and Grutle was 20 years old when this album was recorded.
This is an essential, if not the essential, viking metal album.