Enslaved
In Times


4.5
superb

Review

by Drew Tyler USER (74 Reviews)
March 2nd, 2015 | 106 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The most consistent band of the last ten years.

A band is fortunate to have one masterpiece, one album that demonstrates their abilities and showcases their best attributes. Enslaved have the better part of a dozen of these. What started as a couple of young friends getting in on the local black metal scene in Norway in the early 90's has transformed into one of the most successful and consistent careers of the progressive genre. No other band from that era (save for Opeth) have had as much praise or longevity. The transition from straight black metal to something more progressive spanned entire albums, beginning somewhere around 2000's “Mardraum - Beyond the Within”. From that album and on, Enslaved have grown more and more experimental, more eager to step outside of the restrictive black metal genre. They continue this with their latest effort “In Times”, which is a culmination of everything Enslaved have worked at for the past decade.

Right from the beginning of the album, we see Enslaved have not forgot about their past. "Thurisaz Dreaming" gives a nod to the band's black metal roots while retaining the transitional style of dark and heavy to light and melodic we have come to expect. Grutle's guttural vocals remain in top notch form, giving the album the heavy edge it needs, while Herbrand's clean vocals add to the melody and variety. Yet, the guitars remain the most inventive aspect of the band. Ivar Bjornson continues to amaze with riff and solo alike, piling more than a few into each song until the listener finally gets lost within the music. Combine this with a subtle use of keyboards and a drum performance that is not to be missed, and you have every cog of the machine.

Just like every Enslaved album, "In Times" is layered with epic and intense moments, with the glorious intro of “One Thousand Years of Rain” being one example. But the band also has a soft spot for more mellow Pink Floyd-like moments as heard on the opening moments of “Nauthir Bleeding". Enslaved remain an instrumental roller coaster of a band, keeping the listener guessing the entire way. Repetition is a foreign concept to them, because the riffing and vocals remain so varied, and despite the average track length being well over eight minutes, the album is much more streamlined than "RIITIIR" was, with a shortened overall length of 52 minutes. This adds to the already high replay value.

While the band has evolved instrumentally over the years, so have the lyrics and overall concept. It's not only about ancient Nordic beliefs and ways of life anymore. It would seem that the lyrics have taken on a more relatable style, dealing more with the inner working of the human mind than ancient gods and vikings. Of course, it has never truly been about vikings and gods for the fans. The music has always taken precedence over these things.

Each track has so much material layered within, that it's easy to miss some subtle parts. Upon each subsequent listen, expect to hear things you may have missed, as this album will most likely unravel over the course of time. "In Times" is more of a grower, awarding listeners who have the patience to endure repeated listens. If you have never heard an Enslaved album before, you should check "Axioma" or "Isa", because this album is more suited for the hardened fan than the fledgling newcomer.



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user ratings (602)
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Benjamin Kuettel STAFF (4)
Enslaved continue building on a foundation of musical beauty, ferocity, and wonder in excellent form...

Underflow (3)
On "In Times," Enslaved sound less like shrouded acolytes conjuring the raw element of their Nordic ...

ExplosiveOranges (4)
Growing forth a shadow heart/No less beautiful...



Comments:Add a Comment 
ThrashTillDeath94
March 2nd 2015


801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Official stream can be found here: http://loudwire.com/enslaved-stream-in-times-album/

Tunaboy45
March 2nd 2015


17672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, have a pos.

Definitely need to give this a listen.

Digging: Every Time I Die - Radical

Flugmorph
March 2nd 2015


25157 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

datt review

Digging: Mastodon - Hushed and Grim

BigPleb
March 2nd 2015


63991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great rev and yes, this fucking rules.

Jots
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2015


7408 Comments


(edit: fixed)

aside from that, this is a nice, no frills review. pos

Crysis
Emeritus
March 2nd 2015


17541 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

most consistently yawn-inducing band yeah

BigPleb
March 2nd 2015


63991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wondered when you'd get here, Kyle.

Crysis
Emeritus
March 2nd 2015


17541 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i'll never miss an opportunity to say how much i think this band is overrated!





but seriously those cleans are god awful

BigPleb
March 2nd 2015


63991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like them, even if they convey no emotion whatsoever.

Flugmorph
March 2nd 2015


25157 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cleans are the best part about this band for me tbh. that and the guitar work

BigPleb
March 2nd 2015


63991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Na I really dig everything about this band tbh but those harsh vox at the beginning of Thurisaz Dreaming, they need more passages like that!

Crysis
Emeritus
March 2nd 2015


17541 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the clean vocals are absolutely lifeless, there is zero emotion in them



also to me the progressive guitar work is a chore, especially when none of it is really standout and each track just ends up as a mash of "what just happened" type moments where you are really unsure of what they were trying to do with a given song

ThrashTillDeath94
March 2nd 2015


801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Johnny, I touched up on some of those things you pointed out. Always appreciate a little help.

emester
March 2nd 2015


8271 Comments


Album was great but i have to admit, not once did i find it stunningly fantastic.

Crysis
Emeritus
March 2nd 2015


17541 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

as heard on the opening moments of “Nauthir Bleeding.




Needs quotes after "Bleeding"

ThrashTillDeath94
March 2nd 2015


801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ok thanks

NeroCorleone80
March 2nd 2015


34618 Comments


Might check this. Used to really be into Enslaved but they kinda grew off me over the years.

BigPleb
March 3rd 2015


63991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Jam it Nero bro.

NeroCorleone80
March 3rd 2015


34618 Comments


Might as well make it one of my few 2015 jams

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2015


19855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Can't wait to hear this, they have such a flawless discography so it should be an excellent listen at the least.

Digging: Cynic - Ascension Codes



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