Enslaved
E


4.0
excellent

Review

by The muff mangler USER (13 Reviews)
November 18th, 2017 | 85 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With album 14, Enslaved prove they are still titans in the world of metal.

To call Enslaved a colossal force in the Norwegian metal scene would be an understatement. Pumping out outstandingly good albums such as 'Vertebrae' and 'Axioma', the band have some truly monumental works of art to showcase. As well as being able to boast those master crafted records, they also have the credibility of being remarkably consistent, only sporadically releasing an album which does not equate to their established quality. The previous two records released by the band follow this trend of consistency, but they signalled a shift into a more progressive style. So, it is only lucid that 'E' follows this stylistic change, but it does so in a much more cohesive manner than 'In Times'.

From the very beginning of this record, it is indisputably apparent that most of the songs take a considerably long time to detonate into their more hectic sections. This is due to drawn out intros, followed by riffs that often outstay their welcome. While this can become tedious, the songs do ignite into moments of incredible musicality, such as the saxophone solo on 'Hiindsight', and the various groovy riffs found throughout the records entirety.

Onto more positive aspects, a new addition to the band comes from Vinje, who adds a gloriously psychedelic synth performance and powerful backing vocals to the mix. These additions are crucial for this record, as it prevents it falling into the abyss of being just another Enslaved album. Whilst these don't sound like vast changes to the band's formula, they do grant the record recognisable qualities that can be distinguished from other Enslaved albums, giving it a sense of character. As well as this, it helps avoid the harrowing threat of the desired sound becoming stale. Whether this is through dizzying synth sections, or the backing vocals fusing with Kjellson's abrasive performance, Vinje proves to be essential in filling the void for some of the band's previous problems found on previous efforts.

As for the other instrumental performances, it is business as usual for Enslaved. The drums and bass offer a solid backbone for the guitars to soar into hypnotic barrages of magnificence, most notably on the intro to 'Axis of the Worlds'. Enslaved prove here that they can still make music saturated with expertly good qualities, keeping the listener entertained. Thankfully, there are also some purely black metal sections scattered throughout the flood of progressiveness, which may often be overwhelming for the listener. This is most likely to please fans of the older Enslaved, and offers a much needed dose of intensity to keep the record interesting. On top of this, the production found here is somewhat lacklustre, and hinders the quality of the record, but only to a certain extent. Fortunately, this does not render the songs becoming egregious.

As a whole, 'E' is rife with fantastic moments, but is not astray from poor ones as well. The sheer progressive qualities of this record may be enough to steer away less patient listeners, but will prove rewarding for those who dig deep into the songs. For the more seasoned fans of Enslaved and other progressive efforts akin to this, 'E' will prove to be a valuable addition to their collection. When compared to the strongest releases from the band, this does not fare too well, yet it still remains an excellent record, which is not likely to disappoint.



Recent reviews by this author
In Flames Down, Wicked and No GoodEnsiferum Two Paths
Belphegor TotenritualBotanist Collective: The Shape of He to Come
Ursinne Swim with the LeviathanSepticflesh Codex Omega
user ratings (221)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
BlackwaterPork
November 18th 2017


2986 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well someone had to do it didn't they?

Sorry if this review isn't the quality that the album deserves, I just thought I should do this some justice.

Digging: Summoning - Oath Bound

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2017


11012 Comments


Great review man, about time this got one and you did well with it (: About time I got around to jamming it too.

BlackwaterPork
November 18th 2017


2986 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks mate, really appreciated. Yeah this is not one to be missed if you like this shit

Demon of the Fall
November 18th 2017


4399 Comments


Nice review man, pos’d. Reads professionally & is informative, good effort especially for a Lancastrian :-). Love that your first reply to Scuro was the polar opposite, ‘if you like this shit’ haha. Seriously though well done.

I heard some of this live but never on record, going to be exploring their discography further in the coming weeks, I really dig Axioma.

Digging: Gorguts - Colored Sands

BlackwaterPork
November 18th 2017


2986 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

u fukin wot fam I'll kick ur head in talkin shite about us Lancashire lads ye

Nah seriously though thanks mate, it's been a little while since I did a review and it's nice to have good feedback

BigPleb
November 18th 2017


51885 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album def rules.

Marehelm
November 18th 2017


292 Comments


Nice job! Definitely deserved a review

Evok
November 18th 2017


6817 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hahah finally!!! Awesome review man. Album did very little for me but its good nonethless

Digging: LOFT - Three Settlements Four Ways

Hawks
November 18th 2017


52604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Slays agreed Evo.

Digging: Sigh - Infidel Art

BlackwaterPork
November 18th 2017


2986 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers evo

manosg
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2017


10754 Comments


About time this one got a review. I was thinking of writing one even though I'm not so much into these guys so I'm glad you decided to cover this one.

Digging: Heavy Sentence - Protector / Darkest Hour

MayhemWithMercy
November 18th 2017


7202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Finally!! Great review Blackwater!

BlackwaterPork
November 18th 2017


2986 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks lads

MayhemWithMercy
November 18th 2017


7202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Pos'd

Allergist
November 18th 2017


128 Comments


This is a good year

BlackwaterPork
November 18th 2017


2986 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Much appreciated

Evok
November 18th 2017


6817 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"This is a good year" [2]



The number of 5 worthy albums has been low for me this year, but the amount of 4.5s my ears have come accross during this trip around the sun is downright ridiculous.

Demon of the Fall
November 18th 2017


4399 Comments


I’ve clearly not heard enough from this year...

BlackwaterPork
November 18th 2017


2986 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah there's been some pretty good shit released this year

Demon of the Fall
November 18th 2017


4399 Comments


Not even heard the Pillorian album, really should.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy