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Colossal, beautiful - 98%

Wikingus, February 18th, 2005

Let me just start by stating that Enslaved are my favorite band, without a doubt. Each of their releases is different than the last, yet somehow connected to the previous release, in ways that become apparent after a long time of listening to a particular CD of theirs.
Their style is forever changing, yet in its' essence, it remains the same.

While their latest releases are packed with cryptical lyrics about inner-growth, of neopaganism and whatnot, their first works of art (because that's what they are!) were relentless, aggressive, total Viking destruction, yet performed and written in such a way that they went far far beyond your regular black metal bands.

Why should Vikingligr Veldi be any different?
The songs on the album are rather long, the sound is cruder than on later releases (although it can be quite easily compared to the later Frost album), and Grutle's amazing vocals are black only, none of the beautiful clean vocals or chanting that appear on later CDs are present, although with the greatness of the way that the songs are arranged, the vocals never ever become boring, even though the songs are very long, averaging at about 10 minutes. The guitars are pretty standard stuff, although they shine through majestically on a few occasions, when they songs slow down (e.g. in Heimdallr and Norvegr). Keyboards also play a much larger role than on the next release.

A less aggressive album than Frost, more majestic than Eld. The songs paint a landscape of endless ice and frozen fjords. Truly, if I were to ask myself, if there is one band in extreme metal which transcends the boundaries of metal itself, the answer would be one and only: Enslaved.