Enslaved
Monumension


4.0
excellent

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (85 Reviews)
December 6th, 2008 | 34 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Vikings discover a time portal and transport themselves to Pink Floyd’s heyday.

As silly a thought as this may seem, Enslaved have done just that with Monumension; an amalgamation of their past with a taste for experimentation that follows suit to those psychedelic passages that Pink Floyd capitalized on with some of their best albums to date. Monumension is almost a lot like the movie ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ in a way. No, it’s not about being “Most excellent to each other” or any of that surfboard garbage that most people passed the movie off as. Monumension relates more to the underlying values of the movie. Bill and Ted need to complete a history project to pass through their school studies and set about on an adventure, going through time to collect some of histories most prestige figures (Socrates, Napoleon, Joan of Arc etc.) to really impress their teachers with one of grandest history projects ever presented. However, trouble begins in the movie when these historical figures are brought into the present and how they have to cope with being a minority in the times of the late 80s. The theme perfectly relates to the situation that Enslaved sits with in the new millennium. Instead of following the rest of the black metal pack straight out of Norway, Enslaved have chosen to become the minority and transport themselves into the future with a new sound full of progressive measures and long passages of psychedelic trance.

Monumension is a real step up from the bludgeoning force that was Blodhemn and Mardraum. A lot of the insane blackened Viking metal is still ever so present but contrasts sharply with the bands need to experiment. One could argue that Enslaved began hinting at this new sound with Eld and it may be true to some extent. However, the huge direction they have taken with their obsession for Pink Floyd and other 70s progressive acts wasn’t fully utilized until this album. ‘Hollow Inside’ showcases this harsh contrast in sound; beginning with a sweet la-de-da, trance like melody followed by a massive chorus of lumbering power chords and finished off with the intro melody and a Peter Frampton synthesized voice touch. ‘The Sleep: Floating Diversity – A Monument Part III’ is obviously the albums centre piece as it runs strong on the long passages of psychedelic bliss, incorporating strong organ melodies alongside memorable rockish/ metal riffs, echoey vocals and clean picked guitar lines, and foot stomping power chords that showcase Enslaved’ most experimental song to date. For fans of the past albums, there is plenty to be found on here. Full throttle ‘Vision: Sphere Of The Elements – A Monument Part II’ and ‘Enemy I’ are Enslaved are at their metal best when they feel like spilling their black metal roots. Lead singer Grutle Kjellson has also come along way with his singing capabilities, only enhancing the songs melodies with a powerful voice and a soft touch to accent the clean passages perfectly. The only drawback to this fine album is that the songs can become bogged down with length, sending the listener too far off into left field with their excursions into Pink Floyd land.

Monumension serves as the blueprint for Enslaved’ future sound that would only tighten up with each predecessor album. Every band has to start somewhere down the road to becoming the minority in the metal world. That is what Enslaved has done right here. Purist fans of their past efforts will probably treat this as the album that Enslaved sold out their sound on. Their ignorance will only hurt them from seeing the true power that metal can have when it incorporates sharp contrasts into an already tight formula. Monumension may be a touch too long in some of its experimentations. Fortunately, it has shown to serve the band better in the present, setting themselves apart from the hordes of black metal bands; a genre full of elitists that don’t give a damn about progression. Thank the mighty Norse Gods that we have bands like Enslaved to guide us into Valhalla.



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user ratings (143)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
December 6th 2008


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So I took a little risk with this review and I hope it reads well (kind of like what Enslaved did too with this album hahaha). Criminally overlooked album. Great stuff if you love Floyd as much as I do. Enjoy the review people!

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Epilogue
December 6th 2008


1591 Comments


[quote=review]Pink Floyd’ heyday

with being a minority in the times of the late 80’.

obsession for Pink Floyd and other 70’ progressive acts

the blueprint for Enslaved’ future sound[/quote]

Quality review aside from the missing s'. Sounds intriguing, I will definatley take this reccomendation to heart wiz.This Message Edited On 12.06.08

bastard
December 6th 2008


3435 Comments


you're the man man.

seriously good review.

BallsToTheWall
December 6th 2008


44669 Comments


One of the best and most consistent metal bands around. Good work Wizard. Nice album.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Wizard
December 6th 2008


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree Balls, one of my favourite bands. Thanks for the nice words guys.

Epilogue, fixing those stupid mistakes on the dates right now. The band names pluralized don't need an 's'.This Message Edited On 12.06.08

Essence
December 6th 2008


3586 Comments


The sad part is that vikings and time travel have crossed before, except that it was in a very crude series of dirty novels.

Yazz_Flute
December 6th 2008


18812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is Enslaved's worst imo. It's not really bad, it just doesn't have anything particularly awesome.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

BallsToTheWall
December 6th 2008


44669 Comments


What was this Jacktiger?

fireaboveicebelow
December 6th 2008


6837 Comments


the neverending story

rasputin
December 6th 2008


14550 Comments


Great review Wiz. I'm not a huge fan of the band, but that's based solely on one album I've heard (RUUN).

Wizard
December 7th 2008


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The sad part is that vikings and time travel have crossed before, except that it was in a very crude series of dirty novels.


I think I saw the movie that accompanies those books hahaha.

It's not really bad, it just doesn't have anything particularly awesome.


By 'anything particularly awesome', you mean it's still very good, right?




Essence
December 7th 2008


3586 Comments


You'll have to look them up Balls. I only know of their existence, but no specifics.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2008


16440 Comments


I simply cannot get into this band at all. I have three of their albums and I dislike them all.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Yazz_Flute
July 17th 2010


18812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Convoys to Nothingness may be the best damn song Enslaved have ever done. It's a shame that the rest of the album is pretty lame. Actually The Cromlech Gate is very good too.

froghawk
August 23rd 2010


136 Comments


Crysis: Have you tried Isa or Ruun? I really don't like any of their stuff before Monumension, but everything after it rules.

Hawks
September 29th 2010


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty weird album, but good nonetheless.

NeroCorleone80
February 3rd 2011


29334 Comments


Good album, but imo it wasnt until Below the Lights that they perfected their prog sound.

TheSpirit
February 3rd 2011


17931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why is every Enslaved album completely awesome?

Wizard
February 3rd 2011


19524 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is one of my personal fav's from the band.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2011


16440 Comments


Why is every Enslaved album completely awesome?


nah



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