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Crepuscular
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:41 am
Posts: 381
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:01 am 
 

Enslaved, an amazing band. Just like all the older black metal bands (well, a few anyways) have changed their sound to something unique. I have yet to see a band make an album similar to Frost, Vikingligr Veldi, RUUN, Isa, or Vertabrae. Enslaved's lyrics are nothing short of amazing. Well, to get more to the point since I didn't make this post to kiss ass.

It's more of a question and a discussion. To start off; what do you think of the direction Enslaved has taken? Personally, I got into Enslaved when Isa came out. It was really unique, and I was hooked. I've read the reviews, and I think one of the reviews described exactly what I feel about the new albums. I listen to that certain album once, and it doesn't really click. Second time, a little better and so on and so forth. You would think that would make someone get bored right? Well, not exactly, after the last couple of spins it just sinks in. Making its way right where it clicks. That's when I start to enjoy every song. The Wanderer took about 5 times to sink in. Now it's one of my favorite songs on their new album 'Vertebrae'.

Now, I've heard many, many opinions. Some like Old Enslaved, but not new. Some, have it the complete opposite. I tend to like the more progressive albums.

Alright, to get more the the point, I'd really just like to know what you guys out there in the metal community think about Enslaved? Reviews are album by album. Not what I'm really looking for hear. I'd like to hear some good opinions on the band. Not just "Yeah, I liked Frost, older stuff is much better". Short and sweet, but I'd like some elaboration.

Hope I can start a good discussion with this. :)

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Kruel
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:08 am 
 

Vikingligr Veldi is one of the greatest albums ever recorded. Song construction is epic, exhibiting development of themes, and subtle polyphony adds depth. Drumming is really varied, compostionally useful, and interesting, while not being a distraction: i.e. superb.

Hordanes Land and the Yggdrassil demo are very good, too (haven't heard the other demo).

Frost - just read my review. It's decent, but not a masterpiece. Less epic, less subtle, and less coherent than the debut.

Eld is boring. Can't really elaborate because it really fails to catch my attention at all. It did get more overt with the Viking thing, that I remember for sure.

Haven't heard the fourth album.

The "progressive" years: pretty shitty. Just random influences thrown around with blatant Viking passages.

Overall, Enslaved is one of those black metal legends who dumbed down their music while cloaking themselves with a "progressive" coating. See: Abigor, Emperor, Manes.
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Last edited by Kruel on Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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MaDTransilvanian
Caravan Beyond Redemption

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:56 pm
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Location: Romania
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:16 am 
 

I only have two Enslaved albums, Vikingligr Veldi and Mardraum: Beyond the Within as well as the Hordanes Land and Yggrasill demos so I'm mostly familiar with the beginning of the first half of their discrography. I absolutely love their music for its black metal nature but unique feel, something which makes almost every Norwegian band of that time seem special. I prefer their intelligent incorporation of Norse themes to the Satanism preferred by other bands.

That said I'm in the process of getting into Mardraum: Beyond the Within which is pretty much the middle of their career at this point and I like it a lot. Each listen is more captivating than the last and the whole mix of black metal with progressive elements is great.

I've heard some of the newer songs such as Havenless and a few others and I must say that I like them quite a lot as well, maybe not as much as the old stuff but I'd like to get a couple of newer albums as well.

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Crepuscular
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:41 am
Posts: 381
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:20 am 
 

Kruel wrote:
Vikingligr Veldi is one of the greatest albums ever recorded. Song construction is epic, exhibiting development of themes, and subtle polyphony adds depth. Drumming... I can't desribe it in words now.


Ever consider writing a review? I'd like to read it. I enjoyed your review of Dark Angels 'Darkness Descends'.

I would have to agree with you. It was one of a kind.

I also want to note, and I say this because I really didn't clarify above. I enjoy the whole discography of Enslaved. Their older albums are nothing short of mind blowing. I just love the feel of the newer albums.

MaDTransilvanian wrote:
I've heard some of the newer songs such as Havenless and a few others and I must say that I like them quite a lot as well, maybe not as much as the old stuff but I'd like to get a couple of newer albums as well.


If you want to try the newer albums, might I suggest RUUN as one of the albums you choose? Lyrically it's very amazing. Essence and Entroper are great tracks. :)


Last edited by Crepuscular on Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Kruel
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:20 am 
 

Crepuscular wrote:
Kruel wrote:
Vikingligr Veldi is one of the greatest albums ever recorded. Song construction is epic, exhibiting development of themes, and subtle polyphony adds depth. Drumming... I can't desribe it in words now.


Ever consider writing a review? I'd like to read it. I enjoyed your review of Dark Angels 'Darkness Descends'.

I'm writing it. And it will be much, much better than my DD review, which is admittedly pretty bad.
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PvtNinjer
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:53 am 
 

Enslaved is probably one of my favorite bands. I have a tendancy to like all their albums at least a bit, I find I can listen to any of them and find something to like.

To be honest, I think I like the Yggdrasil demo the best out of all their material. Of course Vikingligr is amazing aswell, without a weak track, IMO. I've only listened to Eld a handful of times and, to be honest, it hasn't really captured my attention as their other albums have, at least not as much. Blodhemn is awesome, I like the more rockish and psychedelic solos they started to include (especially the one in the title track). Not to mention the song Urtical Gods, which is freaking amazing. They're later period is very enjoyable for me, despite the a significant loss of their black metal sound which I think was basically fully realised on Ruun. Of their later albums I would say I like Isa the best. Full of great catchy songs like Bounded by Allegience and the wonderful closer Neogenesis. A really solid album, IMO. I have't listened to the other albums as much and I haven't heard Vertebrae at all (except for The Watcher).

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Aeonblade
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:01 am 
 

All I've ever heard from them is Below The Lights, which is pretty good, but some of it is a little drawn out, and Vertebrate, which is pretty limp dicked, but had some good moments every now and then.

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tomcat_ha
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:50 am 
 

I pretty much like most of their material but dont like blodhemn and madraum so much.

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Expedience
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:00 am 
 

I would say there was a gradual decline in quality from Vikingligr, but even the newer stuff is listenable to me. I'm probably alone in this opinion - i've observed people either like old or new. I don't know how Vertebrae is any more progressive than Vikingligr, indeed, it sounds more like other bands whereas Vikingligr was truly unique.

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Crepuscular
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:41 am
Posts: 381
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:27 am 
 

Expedience wrote:
I would say there was a gradual decline in quality from Vikingligr, but even the newer stuff is listenable to me. I'm probably alone in this opinion - i've observed people either like old or new. I don't know how Vertebrae is any more progressive than Vikingligr, indeed, it sounds more like other bands whereas Vikingligr was truly unique.


I'm going have to disagree with the last statement you made there.

I don't know my metal knowledge may not be up to par, but what bands sound as progressive while still having the black metal influence? I'm not saying your wrong, just wondering what makes you say that. Or better yet, what you are comparing it to. If you do have some bands that sound like this, please recommend them. Unless your post was mostly on your opinion on the decline in quality and you were just throwing it out there that Enslaved is becoming what Emperor, Darkthrone, etc. in terms of direction. If that happens to be the case, then disregard above.

I agree on the part where you said Vikingligr was the most unique album. I've yet to find any band come close to matching the brilliance of that album.

Edit: Punctuation.

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zeingard
Metalhead

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Posts: 541
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:32 am 
 

Since my introduction to Enslaved was essentially 'Below the Lights' I sort of let them off with the whole progressive thing. I don't completely hate 'Isa' or 'Ruun' but they aren't particularly great albums and feel rather disjointed and puzzling.

'Vertebrae' shits me off and is awful. I suppose the day when they completely lost their marbles was inevitable.

Otherwise I really like those middle era albums; 'Mardraum', 'Monumension' and 'Below the Lights'. I still have to listen to their earlier material some time.
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XmetaljesseX
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:02 am 
 

Vikinglgr Veldi and Frost are unmatched by any of their later LPs. Everything up to and including Eld was phenominal in every way.

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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:34 am 
 

Persoally I think they've improved over the years. I think the debut is excellent though, better than many of the following releases (I haven't really got around to listening to them that much though), and Isa aside, I consider their new albums to be their best. Below The Lights and Ruun are my favourites, and I think Vertebrae has some very good moments aswell. The new stuff is more than just black metal influenced prog metal, and it's far from being watered down black metal.
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Spenot
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:06 am 
 

Vikingligr Veldi is one of my favorite black metal albums, and as many before me have said the best album in their discography. From their newer period, I enjoy Ruun the most (it was the first I've listened to from their progressive period), however it took some time getting used to, I wasn't expecting such a change from their first releases. I haven't heard Vertebrae in entirety so far, but from the bits I've heard (such as The Watcher), I'm not too keen on listening to it.
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schwuppe
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 6:56 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:13 am 
 

Vikingilgr Veldi is one of the best metal albums of all time (2nd in my list) and manages to deliver the "viking" atmosphere perfectly.
Accept the first demo Yggdrasil there is nothing even close to.
I don't care for anything after Frost - it's not bad, but no match for Vikingligr Veldi.

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slavonic777
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:36 am
Posts: 887
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:33 am 
 

What I dont like is when some band si repeating themselves, so I like their progression, it is the best thing what they can do, move and explore new levels instead of stuck in one place like some narrow-minded bands, unable to move elesewhere.
All tha albums has its own. I like Frost, Eld (especially that long epic song), and I like Vertebrae a lot, in my view it is natural progression, and in their case it is decent progression, they still have Enslaved trademark in it, that I cant mess them with another band.

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Anthelnor
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:19 am
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:07 am 
 

I like all of their albums, indeed Enslaved is my favouritest band and indeed i am a fanboi. However, before you call me a fanboi, the reason that I am a fanboi is because the music is so good, therefore my fanboyism would not exist were said music of shit quality, and should the shitness of the music be, in fact, reality than I would not enjoy all their albums, Enslaved would not be my favourite band and I would not be a fanboi! amg

Seriously, though, Frost is my favourite album, then probably comes Vikingligr Veldi and Below the Lights, and then the others in some weird order. I fucking love Frost, the intro is epic and mood-setting, and the riffs and acoustic are fucking cold, perfectly portraying grim and frostbitten norse winters in my mind.

Frost's (and VV's) atmosphere and epicness are what makes me love them. However, with some of the later stuff (Below the Lights and onwards, although I still love the mid-era releases) again I love the atmosphere, but it invokes a different feeling. Whereas some of the early stuff is cold, wintry, and Norwegian, some of the newer stuff (particularly the ambient synth-sections) sort of give me the feeling of deep space and timelessness and shit, in a sci-fi Lovecrafty way.

Now all they need to do is release a heavy fucking thrash/black album (Immortal style, another fanboyism of mine) to secure their position as bestest band evar!!1!1!

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Catachthonian
Metal freak

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Location: Russia
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:17 am 
 

Are you for real? Your post looks like a failed Abbath-parody impersonation.
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Last edited by Catachthonian on Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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euantheclansman
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:19 am 
 

I enjoy Ruun and Vertebrae, however I haven't listened to any older material to compare. They are a good band live too!
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Wet Pussy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:28 am 
 

Anthelnor wrote:
Frost's (and VV's) atmosphere and epicness are what makes me love them. However, with some of the later stuff (Below the Lights and onwards, although I still love the mid-era releases) again I love the atmosphere, but it invokes a different feeling. Whereas some of the early stuff is cold, wintry, and Norwegian, some of the newer stuff (particularly the ambient synth-sections) sort of give me the feeling of deep space and timelessness


I agree completely. The new Enslaved can also not be compared to the old Enslaved, because they are two completely different entities.
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samekh
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:13 am 
 

I like the older stuff a lot, but I haven't paid too much attention to anything after Blodhemn. I have Below the Lights and Isa, and while I enjoyed Isa back when it came out (I even named one of my cats after it), I don't listen to it too much now.

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Crepuscular
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:41 am
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:06 pm 
 

MegaHassan wrote:
Anthelnor wrote:
Frost's (and VV's) atmosphere and epicness are what makes me love them. However, with some of the later stuff (Below the Lights and onwards, although I still love the mid-era releases) again I love the atmosphere, but it invokes a different feeling. Whereas some of the early stuff is cold, wintry, and Norwegian, some of the newer stuff (particularly the ambient synth-sections) sort of give me the feeling of deep space and timelessness


I agree completely. The new Enslaved can also not be compared to the old Enslaved, because they are two completely different entities.


Well, this sums it up completely. But one can't help but compare in my opinion.

I want to go ahead and thank you all for the contribution. I'm glad this turned out well.

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TheBlackSword
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:05 pm 
 

I don't like anything after Eld.

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Crepuscular
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:41 am
Posts: 381
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:09 pm 
 

TheBlackSword wrote:
I don't like anything after Eld.


This was the kind of post I was trying to NOT have in this thread.

Please, if you want to contribute, at least read what I wrote and respond with an elaborate response, or at least more intelligent post.

So if you decide to partake, why do you not like anything after Eld? Do you have a favorite album?

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TheBlackSword
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:17 pm 
 

Crepuscular wrote:
TheBlackSword wrote:
I don't like anything after Eld.


This was the kind of post I was trying to NOT have in this thread.

Please, if you want to contribute, at least read what I wrote and respond with an elaborate response, or at least more intelligent post.

So if you decide to partake, why do you not like anything after Eld? Do you have a favorite album?

Well, as was previously stated, Enslaved pretty much morphed into a different band after Eld. As a huge fan of their black metal phase, it was hard for me to adjust to the new sound. Rather than try over and over to develop a taste for the 'new enslaved', I pretty much just ignored them after Eld. I haven't even heard their last two records at all.

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SleepingStar
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:12 pm 
 

I pretty much echo what's mostly been said before in this thread; everything up to Eld really captures the viking vibe perfectly, and their debut album is in my top five metal albums of all time. However, I just can't into anything during their 'progressive' phase, regardless of the critical acclaim it may have garnered.
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Gompidge
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:54 pm 
 

On its release, Hordanes Land was what initially got me into Black/Viking Metal - other than a song off Under a Funeral Moon it was the first BM thing I'd heard. Back then I'd heard nothing like it and absolutely loved it.

I am pretty sure I've heard everything by them (except Vertebrae) - albeit Blodhemn and Mardraum only once. I quite liked them, but they didnt stand out. I'll have to give them another go

I really enjoy their later more progressive work, although they took 2-3 listens to get into. I can definitely understand why people only like Enslaved upto Eld etc.

Hordanes Land and Vikingligr Veldi are probably my favourites of theirs and in my top 10 Metal albums. Below the Lights, Ruun, Isa and the like are great albums too - but evoke a far less intense atmosphere. They have their moments, and due to their more easy listening nature I play them more often than their earlier work.

I havent read any reviews of Vertebrae, but with the views on here I can say I am looking forward to it now..

Overall they've been a great band, original for the most part and surely must be one of the most respectable long-standing Scandinavian bands.

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NeglectedField
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:11 pm 
 

To be honest I'm more familiar with later material (and Frost), and I like it. If it's the worst of Enslaved's stuff, then I guess I only have good things to look forward when I complete my collection of earlier Enslaved.
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Crepuscular
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Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:41 am
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:22 pm 
 

NeglectedField wrote:
To be honest I'm more familiar with later material (and Frost), and I like it. If it's the worst of Enslaved's stuff, then I guess I only have good things to look forward when I complete my collection of earlier Enslaved.


I like the progressive feel to the new(er) albums. Their earlier albums are genius no doubt about it. The sound just wasn't as epic as I felt the later albums were. My own personal opinion. I think the song that I can still listen to over and over again and feel the atmosphere was Essence on RUUN. Reflective on Vertebrae is also pretty amazing. The clean vocals keep getting better and better on each album in my opinion.

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hippiedrow
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:41 pm 
 

I really like Isa. It has a very epic feel to it, the clean vocals are amazing, and the harsh vocals are really good as well. But the guitar work on it is amazing. Take Lunar Force and Neogenesis for example.
Other great songs include, Return to Yggdrasil, Bounded By Allegiance, Ascension, and Secrets of the Flesh. Lunar Force is one of my all time favorite songs.

The debut album is good, but I don't think it's as good as most of the people in this thread have been saying.

I like Eld and Blodhemn, but I haven't listened to these all that much. Lots of great songs on these though.

Frost is simply decent. Aside from a couple songs, it is just okay.

I guess that I could fall into the progressive Enslaved fan catagory, but I simply haven't heard enough of the progressive albums. Enslaved is a really good band though, and I have enjoyed the vast majority of what I've heard.

I haven't actually heard Below the Lights yet, though I came pretty close to buying it last Thursday.

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Crepuscular
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:40 am 
 

hippiedrow wrote:

The debut album is good, but I don't think it's as good as most of the people in this thread have been saying.

I guess that I could fall into the progressive Enslaved fan catagory, but I simply haven't heard enough of the progressive albums. Enslaved is a really good band though, and I have enjoyed the vast majority of what I've heard.


Yeah, I agree with you on the first part. :) It's amazing, but not 100% material.

I guess that could be said about the progressive Enslaved. Listen to RUUN, if you liked Isa, it's not as nitty gritty. Much cleaner, the clean vocals aren't as good as they are on Vertabrae, but the songs have a lot of atmosphere.

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alliaphagist
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:44 am 
 

I think their middle albums were the peak of their career. Those albums were progressive without being boring and...I don't know psychedelic I guess.

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PvtNinjer
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:38 pm 
 

You know what I notice? Not many people seem to mention Blodhemn, or have too much to say about it. Why do some of you think that is, and what do you think about it? Could it be possibly because it's kind of in the middle of mid/later period Enslaved and earlier Enslaved and "gets lost" among people who prefer either the early period or the later period? Like their "forgotten" album in their discog.

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Konig_ov_Hel
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:44 pm 
 

PvtNinjer wrote:
You know what I notice? Not many people seem to mention Blodhemn, or have too much to say about it. Why do some of you think that is, and what do you think about it? Could it be possibly because it's kind of in the middle of mid/later period Enslaved and earlier Enslaved and "gets lost" among people who prefer either the early period or the later period? Like their "forgotten" album in their discog.


'Tis a good album. I, too, haven't heard much about the album as far as discussion was concerned. Personally, it's one of my favorites. And I can see where the album could be considered Enslaved's lost gem.
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Expedience
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:05 pm 
 

It's understandably overlooked. On Eld I think they gained a new type of fan and lost a few who wanted something more like Frost, then they sort of did a 180 and went back to the blistering Frost style. Mardraum is quite overlooked in favour of Monumension as well, I find.

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cultofkraken
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:01 pm 
 

Crepuscular wrote:
NeglectedField wrote:
To be honest I'm more familiar with later material (and Frost), and I like it. If it's the worst of Enslaved's stuff, then I guess I only have good things to look forward when I complete my collection of earlier Enslaved.


I like the progressive feel to the new(er) albums. Their earlier albums are genius no doubt about it. The sound just wasn't as epic as I felt the later albums were. My own personal opinion. I think the song that I can still listen to over and over again and feel the atmosphere was Essence on RUUN. Reflective on Vertebrae is also pretty amazing. The clean vocals keep getting better and better on each album in my opinion.


See this is what I disagree with, Enslaved became less epic on the latter material, consider Slaget I Skogen Bortenfor from Hordanes Land, Vetrarnatt from Vikinglingr Veldi, or 793 (Slaget Om Lindisfarne) from Eld, those songs are epic both in scope and sound. I find the albums post Blodhemn (minus Below the Lights, "As Fire Swept Clean the Earth" has that epic melancholy sound; evoking atavistic feeling that most early Enslaved is capable of) are missing the epic quality that made Enslaved so breathtaking musically.

I still like the new stuff, but I find the progressive elements have lessened my ability to fully become cohesive with the material on a personal level.
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The_Boss
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:30 pm 
 

I'm pretty sure I've heard each Enslaved album as well as the early demos. I consider them my favorite black metal band as I lean towards their later style. My introduction was Isa and Below the Lights which I both consider to be their best, then of course Ruun and now Vertebrae followed into some great listening.

Their older stuff definitely is worth getting and listening to, but it's difficult to compare the two because they are both different bands almost, different styles and powers. I find myself enjoying both really, so I don't care but I've loved their progression without losing any of their touch (if possible gaining more into legendary status).

As for Vertebrae, I'm really enjoying it. The new style brought in, now obviously shown on Vertebrae is something I'm really enjoying. The Watcher is a great song!
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Crepuscular
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Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:41 am
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:42 am 
 

The_Boss wrote:

As for Vertebrae, I'm really enjoying it. The new style brought in, now obviously shown on Vertebrae is something I'm really enjoying. The Watcher is a great song!


The Watcher, Reflective, Ground, Clouds are probably the most stand-out tracks on that album to me. The Watcher music video was...a little below par with the rest of their videos. Essence was much better.

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Kruel
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Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:56 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:44 am 
 

Does anybody hear Tangerine Dream in Vikingligr Veldi?
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