Enslaved
In Times


4.0
excellent

Review

by TalonsOfFire STAFF
March 5th, 2015 | 170 replies


Release Date: 03/06/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Enslaved continue building on a foundation of musical beauty, ferocity, and wonder in excellent form.

The opening seconds of “Thurisaz Dreaming” are possibly the fastest and most chaotic introduction to any album in Enslaved’s massive discography. While the opener of In Times progresses like most of their recent cuts, it eventually gives way to one of their most atmospheric and dreamlike outros to date. Even thirteen releases in, they’re not afraid to continue pushing the musical boundaries of progressive rock, psychedelia, and experimental music under an extreme metal backdrop. Recent albums have had varying amounts of black metal influence, but In Times subverts expectations by being among their most varied releases since Frost. Despite having arguably reached their peak with Axioma Ethica Odini, Enslaved continue to prove that progressing is more important than attempting to repeat past successes.

At this point, it’s hard to build reasonable expectations for the band. Their modest birth in the heart of the early Norwegian black metal scene eventually gave way to widespread recognition. Each album soon had its own voice, with ample experimentation and a sense of large-scale concepts of the mythological and otherworldly. In Times is yet another testament to their penchant for evolution and personal growth, exhibited significantly in “Building With Fire.” It builds mid-tempo melodic black metal verses with one of their most drearily effective melodic choruses of their career, sounding like it could come straight from an Alice In Chains album. Climaxes ensue, including a fantastic atmospheric guitar solo.

No single song runs under eight minutes, and each one really feels like a journey as they flow into each other, giving the impression of a concept album. Ominous atmospherics in “One Thousand Years of Rain” quickly explode to life in a flurry of rapid fire alternating vocal styles of demonic shrieking and beautiful harmonizing, constantly battling with each other throughout the maze of guitar riffs and drum work. Each track largely continues in a similar vein, with melodic choruses journeying throughout the stunning variety of beauty and brutality. The diverse instrumentation of riffs and arpeggiated chord changes take notable influence from bands such as Gorguts and Opeth, exhibited most in the album’s second half. “Nauthir Bleeding” is the most adventurous and diverse cut of the album. It manages to be ferocious and simultaneously atmospheric thanks to a dazzling, dissonant middle section and perfect use of apocalyptic synths. “In Times” follows similarly, and contains one of the most poignant and meditative sections of the record before exploding into a screaming frenzy of blasts and tremolo picking.

The album’s highlight is saved for the closing track “Daylight.” After a few minutes of mid-tempo guitar riffing, it changes to an extended musical passage reminiscent of post-rock as layers of guitar chords paint a celestial picture over soaring vocals. A minimal but effective use of keyboards adds to the dredge of instrumentals as a truly epic guitar solo jams out, becoming the album’s catharsis and one of the most surprising moments of Enslaved’s career. It quiets down again, and the listener is forced to ask if this is the same band, before the heavy guitar riffing suddenly returns. The song continues as if nothing had happened, and just like that, it’s over. Despite not exploring much new territory for the group, In Times exhibits Enslaved’s ever-evolving use of dynamics and soundscapes with a mature understanding of the alternating effects of ferocity and beauty. The sound of the apocalypse can change to peaceful skies within seconds. Their command over contrasting elements is so reliable and self-assured, that it wouldn’t be difficult to believe that they have twenty-five more years of musical greatness ahead of them.



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user ratings (463)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
ExplosiveOranges CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Growing forth a shadow heart/No less beautiful...

ThrashTillDeath94 (4.5)
The most consistent band of the last ten years....

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


Comments:Add a Comment 
TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2015


16765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album Stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwvcXnDl1GM



Thanks a lot to JohnnyOnTheSpot and Gameofmetal for proofreading

Digging: Tame Impala - Currents B-Sides & Remixes

someguest
March 5th 2015


28826 Comments


Is March too early to declare the metal album of the year?


Leviathan's record is better.

Tunaboy45
March 5th 2015


15609 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely need to check this, great review have a pos.

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2015


16765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks Tunaboy, and someguest I still need to check that one

someguest
March 5th 2015


28826 Comments


It's blowing my mind. This record is great too.

Artuma
March 5th 2015


29118 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

one of your best reviews from what i've read, hard pos. it seems like this isn't gonna be an aoty contender for me but i'm still obviously gonna jam this soon

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2015


10178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Hard pos (smiley face emoticon because sputnik is barbaric and can't get those to work)

FrozenVain
March 5th 2015


2955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Is March too early to declare the metal album of the year?"



Not if it's Enslaved. Nice work, pos'd.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2015


16765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks guys, I had a feeling this would be great when Thurisaz Dreaming was released as the single. Such an incredible opener

emester
March 5th 2015


8181 Comments


Great review Talons.

Pretty good album even though new Leviathan destroys this

someguest
March 5th 2015


28826 Comments


new Leviathan is a game changer for USBM

seriously.

emester
March 5th 2015


8181 Comments


Cleans on this are starting to grow on me.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2015


16765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The cleans are definitely improved on here, and I'm listening to the new Leviathan now it's pretty insane stuff

emester
March 5th 2015


8181 Comments


It only gets better

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2015


16765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This and Leviathan are definitely black metal AOTY so far

Artuma
March 5th 2015


29118 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

honestly noctus' album might be my bm aoty so far, he's damn good. leviathan and misþyrming have also released great albums this year

zaruyache
March 5th 2015


17895 Comments


^

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2015


16765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

An album he made? Where can I listen?

zaruyache
March 5th 2015


17895 Comments


Right here son. Get you some.
http://etherealshroud.bandcamp.com/

LordePots
March 5th 2015


38130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sputnik user music is so much better then it used to b

Digging: Alyss - Motherland



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