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Hail Enslaved! - 99%

Acherontic, November 21st, 2006

The usually obscuring feedback in Black Metal isn't quite strong enough to drown anything out, thankfully. The instruments are perfectly audible, with the exception of the drums being a bit muffled.
It's not just the music that makes this good, it's the driving force behind it. Enslaved waste no time at all, ripping into each song as if their career depended on it. The drums are well executed, the vocals are inhuman, and the guitars blaze along in their attempt to decapitate you with pure sound.

Two tracks, "Intermezzo" and "Resound of Gjallarhorn," are entirely synthesized; no guitars, vocals, or drums anywhere. Way out of place for a Black Metal album, but after the sonic blitzkreigs that make up the rest of the track, it's good. It gives you time to breathe and relax for a couple minutes before Enslaved start pounding your head again, and they're hardly long enough to bore anyone.

"Allfadr Odinn" is one of the higher points; it's the song to play at one's funeral. A synth organ curls around the wall of sound, giving it an appropriately deathly feel.

"Hal Valr" and "Heimdallr" aren't quite as good, but they're still above most early Black Metal songs.

"Niunda Heim" is catchy; don't tell me you can sit through the song without moving some part of your body in time to it.

The last track, "Enslaved," displays the mastery Enslaved have over their instruments. There are only two words to describe it: Fucking Good. A band with a song for their name SHOULD be well done....

Really good, for a demo (and little indication of the monstrous force Enslaved were to become). It seizes your head with its sonic grip, and forces it to slowly but inorexably bob up and down until you're in full headbanger mode.