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The point of progression - 80%

Human666, April 7th, 2007

'Eld' marks a new style of Enslaved, a more progressive one [7 tracks in 58 minutes], and it's only the first sign of all their future albums to come which will continue to progress more and more. I can call it somehow a matured album of the band, though I hate to use this term. There are a lot clean vocals here, the black metal shrieks still remained, but now the songs themselves sounds more relaxed and less brutal as they were for instance, in their first album.

The first track (793-Slaget Om Lindisfarne) is their longest song to date. It clocks out at 16 minutes, and it's a pretty epic one. It begins with some chilled horns followed by some pleasant choirs, it repeats itself for 3 minutes and then it has more layers and explodes quietly. Then some clean guitars fades in and then turns to a more distorted one, and so the drums comes in and the song begins. 'Grutle Kjellson' sings pretty clean here in low tunes and he sings pretty calmly. But in my opinion there are too much echos on his voice which only interrupt and doesn't increases anything. After 8 minutes and half the song changes his mood and becomes pretty brutal with fast drumming and a sudden (and the only) shriek from 'Kjellson', then it suddenly stops and becomes more mellow and leading into a great instrumental section. After that it returns to the section after the intro and the clean vocals chilling again the atmosphere, but then it's ending pretty brutal and suddenly cutted of. It's an outstanding track, has a load of awesome riffs and beautiful vocals (but could be better without all these echos) and it progressing very well from the mysterious intro until the brutal ending, it's a varied track and a sweeping experience which changes often it's moods, really outstanding track!

The rest is pretty good, but not awesome as the first track. 'Hordalendingen' begins with a catchy power chords riff and then the drums comes in and a second guitar adding a different variety, then it becomes faster song with intense drumming and the ordinary black metal shrieks, but the chorus is with clean vocals too. Pretty good track, not becomes monotonous or repetitive because it has a lot mid breaks and different moods.

Overall, it's a step up and very enjoyable album. The first track is outstanding and the other tracks are pretty well too. 'Eld' is a varied and progressive album which remains viking metal in his roots and brings with him the usual vikingish atmosphere of Enslaved, with a more ambitious and creative spirit. Get it if you are a viking/black/atmospheric metal fan, and if you aren't, maybe it will discover you a different approach from your ordinary metal bands.