Enslaved
Hordanes Land


5.0
classic

Review

by ealordofthedepths USER (11 Reviews)
August 13th, 2008 | 46 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A true masterpiece of the now legendary Norwegian Black Metal scene.

It was 1993 and the Norwegian Black Metal scene blazed on forward through the fire of burning churches, with every music record released by a band being followed by a criminal one, constructing the now legendary controversy that still to this day surrounds Black Metal. However because of this large amount of controversy, the music was often overlooked as a side note, a soundtrack if you will to the crimes being committed in Norway. But, when the bands weren’t being questioned intensely by Norwegian police, they were making amazing records, and this split is no exception. Hordanes Land, Enslaved’s side of the disc, consists of three songs that display black metal in all the glory of its finest hour.

The disc kicks off with the symphonic rampage of Slaget I Skogen Bortenfor, which begins with a chanting choir that breaks up into an ocean of blast beats and distortion. The song proceeds to take you on an epic journey combining all the best aspects of the black metal genre, the aggression, the symphonic touches, the undecipherable screams (well you wouldn’t understand them anyway, they’re in ancient Norwegian) and the sheer beauty that kinds behind the powerful dark exterior. But the real triumph of Enslaved of this song (and the whole EP) is the real triumph of black metal in general, it creates an amazing atmosphere, all the elements that the band puts forward blend perfectly to create black metal bliss. Every single detail is thought out to add to the atmosphere, even the spoken word passages fit perfectly into the madness.

After the mind numbing experience that is the first Enslaved song on the split comes Allfadr Odin, another majestic work, that shows the roots of the “progressive black metal” style the band would adopt on later recordings, traveling fluidly through its various riffs and passages, each more powerful and haunting than the next. The drum work of the legendary Trym Torson is, as always, amazing, and the songwriting is very complex and powerful, especially when you take into account that guitarist and keyboardist (and thus the guy in charge of all the intricate symphonic parts) Ivar Bjornson, was only 15 when this was recorded.

However it’s not until the last track that the album’s truly best moment comes. The pitch black Balfadr, with its deep piano chords, creates an atmosphere that is simultaneously dark, haunting, epic and beautiful, and they setting the standard for all future black metal to try to reach and at the same time beating every black metal that had come before them. And though there would be other bands that would certainly achieve a similar atmosphere Enslaved stand among the miniscule circle of bands to have pulled it off perfectly, influencing many an important act along the way (just look at the change in Emperor from their side of this split to In the Nightside Eclipse).

Enslaved never burnt any churches or killed any innocent homosexuals, and as far as my knowledge goes they were never a part of the “inner circle”. Sadly enough it is because of this that their role in developing black metal is often downsized or even ignored, however, as this release proves beyond even the slightest shadow of a doubt, they were an impeccable musical force crucial to the evolution of extreme music.



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user ratings (108)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ealordofthedepths
August 13th 2008


80 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I only reviewed the Enslaved side cuz the Emperor side was already reviewed. Whole split is awesome though

Wizard
August 13th 2008


20203 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Is this a split between Emperor and Ensalved? I've heard one song from this and I was blown away (go to Youtube). Excellent review! Is this hard to find?

ealordofthedepths
August 13th 2008


80 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i had some trouble finding it, had to amazon it

Wizard
August 13th 2008


20203 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, will probably look it up on Omegaorder considering Amazon is ripoff.



You are really impressing me with your reviews too. Welcome to the site. Glad to see someone else filling in the blanks within this metal database.

ealordofthedepths
August 13th 2008


80 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks a lot, yeah I try to review albums that arent even on here, its more fun than if theres already a review there

Eakflanderyof
August 13th 2008


2403 Comments


I just listened to Slaget I Skogen Bortenfor. It was pretty good. Not amazing, but I got into it a lot more than most Enslaved. Most of their new stuff is really boring with some exceptions like Path to Vanir and Return to Yggdrasil.

They kinda abuse the progressive thing now. This Message Edited On 08.13.08

Tyler
Emeritus
August 13th 2008


7925 Comments


This half-reviewing splits thing is bullshit.

Eakflanderyof
August 13th 2008


2403 Comments


^ Why is it a huge problem for you?

bustyagunz
August 13th 2008


911 Comments


how long is this? i dunt really think it can deserve a 5 if those tracks are average length, and you dont know what the lyrics involve

bustyagunz
August 13th 2008


911 Comments


yo its bad cuz hes reviewing half of an album, and not the whole thing....

Hawks
August 13th 2008


64224 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i dunt really think it can deserve a 5 if those tracks are average length, and you dont know what the lyrics involve


Since when do lyrics have an effect on the rating?



Digging: Cell - Hanging Masses

BallsToTheWall
August 13th 2008


49145 Comments


Actually Cocaine makes sense. If you review one half you should review the other. That would be cool though, to write a review for two bands in one.

Digging: Beastie Boys - Hello Nasty

Tyler
Emeritus
August 13th 2008


7925 Comments


It's lazy, sloppy and unprofessional. You get albums submitted for an artist rather than for both artists, resulting in duplicates and like I said: it's lazy, sloppy and unprofessional.

Wizard
August 13th 2008


20203 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So wheres the other half? I don't get it. Didn't he review this whole E.P.?

bustyagunz
August 13th 2008


911 Comments


if the lyrics are just dumb, and terrible, and show that the band didnt give a ****, it could effect the rating.
but yes they prolly don't matter if u cant understand them

ealordofthedepths
August 13th 2008


80 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

1. I was going to review the whole thing but someone already reviewed the Emperor side so I found it unnecessary.

2. Though no one understands them its no big secret they're about vikings and thus automatically kick ass.

bustyagunz
August 14th 2008


911 Comments


yea, if it is about vikings then props to you for reviewing this, vikings are pretty damn cool
although i still think u shoulda done the other half too, whutevs though

Edit: not sarcasticThis Message Edited On 08.14.08

Hawks
August 14th 2008


64224 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dont think there's any "if" here. All of Enslaved's lyrics are about vikings. Always have been and probably always will be.

Tyler
Emeritus
August 14th 2008


7925 Comments


Uh, they're lyrics are pretty broad-based Norse influenced. Believe it or not that entails more than Vikings.

Hyperbore
December 13th 2008


856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This half-reviewing splits thing is bullshit.


i agree, but this was released as an independent EP as well as a split. reviewing it as a separate entity is perfectly valid(although the reviewer himself doesn't seem to have noticed this)This Message Edited On 05.02.09



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