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Enslaved... WHY must you do this to me? - 98%

BlackMetal213, April 16th, 2012

Why must you be such a good band? This is Enslaved's second ep released in 2011 after "The Sleeping Gods". While "The Sleeping Gods" is a good ep and all, this one is MUCH better. This is not like the progressive black metal Enslaved has been playing since they released "Mardraum: Beyond the Within" back in 2000. It is definitely more of an atmospheric black metal ep, sort of in the vein of (dare I say) Burzum's classic "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss" in that the keyboards are definitely very important and the production is fairly raw and fuzzy. It is almost a return to what Enslaved were doing on their very first two albums entitled "Vikingligr Veldi" and "Frost," both of which were released in 1994.

Now, using predominately the keyboards, this album has a very ambient and atmospheric sound that I myself would have never thought Enslaved would do at this point in their career. Why, you ask? Simply because they have become so big (not sellouts by ANY MEANS!!!!) and one would think their music would become less raw and higher in production value. This little piece of irony is very unusual for this band, and I highly encourage fans of bands such as Summoning, Burzum, Fear Of Eternity, and Walknut to hear it. It would only benefit you guys. Now, back to the instruments. The keyboards, as mentioned before, are pretty much the leads. They make the atmosphere for the most part. The guitars are somewhat obscure, but not to a point where you cannot hear them. They are "satisfyingly distant", if you will. The drums are, well, just mixed in perfectly where you can definitely hear them, but are not overpowering. And finally we arrive at the bass (or as I like to jokingly call the "roadie of the instrument world") is pretty much absent sounding. But, hell, a lot of black metal bands sort of push the bass aside in the mix. It is not uncommon for this to happen. It does not add nor take anything away from this record.

Overall, this VERY SHORT 2 songs (clocking in for a grand total of ALMOST 11 minutes long) is a magnificent little ep that any fan of black metal should hear and most likely eat up.