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ENSLAVED In Times

By Cary Gordon, Metal Geek
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 @ 4:41 PM


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ENSLAVED
In Times

Nuclear Blast




The first description that comes to mind when trying to describe ENSLAVED's music is beautifully disharmonic. In Times is ENSLAVED’s 13th album and continues the progression started some 15 years ago. Some of the grandiosity of the previous album, Riitiir is toned down and a little bit more raw on this album. The raw vocals are gargly and in your face, and are a great juxtaposition to the opulent harmonies laid down by keyboardist Herbrand Larsen and his hauntingly clean vocal style. Their extreme polar opposite vocals really work together and help make ENSLAVED a cohesive musical journey.

The only complaint I have, albeit a small one, is the beginning few minutes of the title track, “In Times” and the guitar doodling that is layered in the mix. It just doesn’t quite work, and it seems out of place on what is to be an almost perfect album. On the other hand, the track “Building With Fire” is hands down a hauntingly beautiful multi layered treat to the aural senses and has to be hands down my favorite track of the year. I can keep this track on repeat for hours on end and never grow weary of it. I highly recommend you to seek out this song and you will be pulled into the spirit of what the band has accomplished here. I defy you to come away from this song without a renewed appreciation of the band in general.

Another standout track is “One Thousand Years Of Rain”, a perfect blending of lush soundscapes that crash headfirst into some visceral metal screeching of Bassist and vocalist Grutle Kjellson. “Nauthir Bleeding” is another prime example of how to do progressive metal correctly without losing any ferocity, and deftly blending in creepy and haunting soundscapes.

ENSLAVED continues to push musical boundaries and their legions of fans is testament to that fact that you can still stay true to some of your Black Metal roots as well as pushing your progressiveness forward! Did I just use the terms Black Metal and Progressive to describe the same band? Indeed, I did! The album might only be 6 songs long, yet it clocks in at 54 minutes. Epic songwriting from the purveyors of extreme metal meets progressive and lush harmonies. All of these reasons is why ENSLAVED has taken their place in my top favorite bands. Seek out ENSLAVED at any cost! is an almost perfect album, and if you have an open mind, there will be much for you to enjoy layered within the folds of the music.

4.5 Out Of 5.0

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