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Texas King
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Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:55 am
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:28 pm 
 

This Norwegian metal band has released 14 studio albums. In the 90's they started as a viking/black metal band and later, during the 2000's they changed their musical style towards prog metal.
Which album do you dig most?

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k311250
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Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:14 am
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:02 pm 
 

Monumension/Below the Lights.

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LefterisK
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:09 pm 
 

Interesting to see a post like this pop up as I was thinking about Enslaved lately and how I cannot get into them. To me, they are more of a "great individual songs but not albums" kind of of band since Below the Lights and I strongly believe that Borknagar does a BETTER job with the utilisation of clean vocals; the clean vocals in Enslaved feel forced and sound like an Opeth imitation almost always. Let's see if this thread changes my mind.
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k311250
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Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:14 am
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:12 pm 
 

LefterisK wrote:
Interesting to see a post like this pop up as I was thinking about Enslaved lately and how I cannot get into them. To me, they are more of a "great individual songs but not albums" kind of of band since Below the Lights and I strongly believe that Borknagar does a BETTER job with the utilisation of clean vocals; the clean vocals in Enslaved feel forced and sound like an Opeth imitation almost always. Let's see if this thread changes my mind.

If you're looking for a black/viking band with great clean vocals you can check Árstíðir lífsins in case you aren't familiar with them. https://arstidirlifsins.bandcamp.com/tr ... -yfirbor-i

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narsilianshard
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:29 pm 
 

Enslaved is my favorite band of all time. Though, I will admit that out of their early stuff I really only like Frost, and not much else until Below The Lights, and the last two were a bit disappointing. I guess that's just to be expected for any band that's put out so much material.

But the run of releases from Below The Lights through Axioma is some of the best music ever recorded. It's the perfect mix of aggression, melody, and experimentation that no other band has executed so perfectly. Each album has its own specific flavor but fits perfectly within their discography as a whole. Yes, that includes Vertebrae; I will defend that album forever. I don't think I could pick a single album out of those, since it really depends on my mood, but I'd love to hear if anyone has a favorite Enslaved album that's not one of those five.

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Recordcollector
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:18 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:11 pm 
 

Vikingligr Veldi. Also Frost and Eld are great.

This band got really boring after Blodhemn.

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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:31 pm 
 

In Times, and Ruun.

Entroper was extremely inspiring to me back then, it was maybe 2007, before Vertebrae, which I found a little disappointing due to its neutered production. Ruun felt like a perfect balance of progressive, creative ideas, and cohesive, compelling songwriting. They made a few albums that I didn't care for massively, but In Times caught my attention again, and I felt like I remembered why I loved Ruun so much 7 years before that.

Enslaved, to me, is a band whose almost every record is plagued by inconsistency (or perhaps just a wildly diverse array of ideas and elements, some of which I really like, and others that I really don't). Ruun and In Times are simply their most consistently good albums, to me. They also have some of the greatest highlights, although perhaps I'd choose As Fire Swept Clean the Earth (from Below the Lights) as the absolute biggest highlight. 793 deserves a mention as well, and Eld overall isn't too bad at all.
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Acrobat
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:50 pm 
 

I like everything before the prog stuff. It almost feels like that in-your-face, overtly boring stuff is an insult to the brilliant, genuinely progressive, surprisingly subtle black metal stuff they did before they decided they wanted a Norwegian Grammy. Alright, so Blodheim is definitely the end of the road for their black metal stuff (lacks purpose somewhat, certainly doesn't match any of the stuff before that), but it's still better than the meandering yawn-heavy-'prog' they did later on. This should include the caveat that I haven't heard all of their prog stuff but Mardraum, Below the Lights and In Times have all been crap and the bits and bobs I've sampled were crap, too.

Favourite? All of the stuff before Blodheim!
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booK_of_blood
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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:26 am
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:20 pm 
 

k311250 wrote:
Monumension/Below the Lights.


+1

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booK_of_blood
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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:26 am
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:26 pm 
 

Acrobat wrote:

Favourite? All of the stuff before Blodheim!


'Frost' is such an amateurish and sloppy, boring album, so I don't really know.
Their shiny moments are indeed when they picked up their own voice and exploited their talent to the fullest of Monumension and Below The Lights. Mardraum also gets an honorary mention.
But I'm not an expert on Enslaved. Still have a couple of old albums by them I even haven't listened to, yet...

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DecemberSoul
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Location: Switzerland
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:00 pm 
 

When a band has such a diverse output, it should come as no wonder that opinions vary greatly.
For me, it's "Frost" (and by a long shot so), followed by "Blodhemn". If their debut consisted of more songs akin to "Vetrarnott", that album would sit in second place.
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Evil_Obsidian
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:15 pm 
 

Mardraum, followed by Below The Lights and Monumension - in other words their truly progressive albums. The prog rock of Isa is my least favourite. I don't find it progressive at all - just boring.

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ChildClownOutlet
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:30 pm 
 

Below the Lights, Ruun, Isa, and Blodhemn. Actually the reason I chose Blodhemn was because of I lenker til Ragnarok.
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schizoid
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:31 pm 
 

Evil_Obsidian wrote:
Mardraum, followed by Below The Lights and Monumension - in other words their truly progressive albums.


Holy shit, I've been saying this forever. Although I'd argue even their earlier material can be classed as progressive.

As for favourite, I'll hesitantly say Mardraum. It drags in a few spots, but the highs are their highest. The opening track is so aptly named; "Større enn tid – tyngre enn natt" (Greater than Time – Heavier than Night).
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Ludorff
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:49 pm 
 

Below The Lights. To me this album have a unique sound/atmosphere. The songs seems a bit more varied than on most other Enslaved albums, and they all have a little something. Good balance between nice metal riffing or agressive parts and melodic parts imbued with a flair of mystery or something... The chant that starts Heavenless, the keyboard parts (As Fire Swept Clean The Earth, Ridicule Swarm), etc. Lot of details that form a coherent whole. The songs from this album always sounds amazing live :)
The more recent albums are good too, my favorite being maybe In Times. But I feel they have too many similarities. Sometimes I don't remember if a song or riff is from Axioma, Vertebrae or Riitiir. That's not to say they are bad. Maybe they should just change producer/mixer next time.

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Bingewolf
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:55 pm 
 

Enslaved is one of my favorite bands of all-time. I say that as someone who does not really care about the albums beginning with 'Axioma' onward. Nothing on those albums is offensive enough to me to change my opinion on a band that I haven't gotten excited over new music about since 2008.

Much like a lot of people are saying, you have to think of this band in three separate eras. Inception-2000, 2000-2008, 2008-present are all distinct periods with different sounds.

My favorite is 2000-2008. 'Below the Lights' is my favorite record from the band and I also love everything Mardraum-Ruun. These are the truly progressive records and the masterpieces of the band's catalog for me. I've never found a band that can blend so many elements into black metal and have it feel 'natural' to do so. Vertebrae was fine but the start of my indifference.

The first era of the band is also excellent, IMO. I first heard 'The Forest Is My Throne / Yggdrasill' split with Satyricon and I thought the band was excellent. This led me to the first two albums, which are good albeit not great, and then I really enjoyed Eld and Blodhemn.

I pick 'Below The LIghts' though because I think the individual songs are more impactful in my mind than the other albums. Songs like "Havenless" and "As Fire Swept Clean The Earth" couldn't be any other band than Enslaved.

Great thread!

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Big_Grand
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:07 am 
 

Enslaved is one of the most important bands to me because they're one of the first bands I started listening to that wasn't Metallica. I have to say overall Below the Lights is the best to me because it just had awesome writing. Havenless was the first song I heard by them and the opening chant is still amazing to me with Ivar's vocals. As Fire Swept Clean the Earth has a pretty raw and heartfelt solo. The Dead Stare progresses like a demonic cowboy showdown, The Crossing and Queen of the Night aren't exactly my tastes but are definitely interesting in how they incorporate what sound like desert melodies, Ridicule Swarm has an awesome sinister sound similar to the Dead State, and A Darker Place is just good black metal.

It's hard to put it above Vertebrae though because Verebrae had a lot of good writing as well with the Watcher, Reflections, To the Coast, Clouds, Grounds, and all the other songs, but it just didn't have the diversity that Below the Lights had.

That being said I think everything Enslaved has done aside from In Times was a solid 10/10 album, from Hordances Land to E.
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Gemini 7 Rising
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:23 am 
 

I would have to go with Frost, and it probably took 15 or 20 listens for it to really hit, but when it did... \m/

Mardraum: Beyond the Within, which was actually the 1st Enslaved album I owned, would be 2nd. And most of the modern era doesn't do much for me, personally. I like my metal "pure"
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PvtNinjer
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:40 pm 
 

This is tough, I was really huge into Enslaved, especially around when Axioma came out, I would have probably told you they were my favourite band. I loved Enslaved so much that they single handedly got me to relent on my desire to only listen to old school and raw stuff once I heard Isa. If I really had to pick, I think I'd probably choose something like RIITIIR, which I honestly think is the peak of their modern era, but Ruun comes close. I've always had a soft spot for Maurdraum as well, with it's melding of psychedelic elements with blazing blackened thrash and death metal, this album was Enslaved's most punishing since Frost. Eld obviously deserves mention as well, the longform stuff on here is really quite remarkable, and the rest of the album is not slouch either (Glemt is probably my favourite). What I really love about Eld is the production, the drums in particular are incredible (shout out to Abominatrix I know you love these too).

God damn, though it's really hard to pick. Maybe I'll go with the Sleeping Gods ep :lol:

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Acrobat
Eric Olthwaite

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:43 pm 
 

booK_of_blood wrote:
Acrobat wrote:

Favourite? All of the stuff before Blodheim!


'Frost' is such an amateurish and sloppy, boring album, so I don't really know.
Their shiny moments are indeed when they picked up their own voice and exploited their talent to the fullest of Monumension and Below The Lights. Mardraum also gets an honorary mention.
But I'm not an expert on Enslaved. Still have a couple of old albums by them I even haven't listened to, yet...


They had their own voice from day one; their earliest releases are a brilliant take on black metal that sounds like none of their peers. They lost some of that when they decided to go for the beard/extra hoppy IPA progressive metal sound. I fail to see how Frost is amateurish, either; it's well-played, well-produced and well-written.
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narsilianshard
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:22 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:50 pm 
 

Acrobat wrote:
They had their own voice from day one; their earliest releases are a brilliant take on black metal that sounds like none of their peers.

Absolutely. The fact that Ivar wrote Yggdrasill, Hordanes Land, Vikingligr veldi, and Frost all before he was 20 years old is nothing short of incredible. A literal child was creating a completely new sound and putting out albums that were both more complex and original than just about everything else in the black metal scene at that time.

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FirebathDan
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:20 pm 
 

Gemini 7 Rising wrote:
I would have to go with Frost, and it probably took 15 or 20 listens for it to really hit, but when it did... \m/


I don't mean to single you out here in a disrespectful manner, so I'll say that in a general sense, it seems to me that if it takes any person 15-20 listens for any album to finally click, it comes across more like forcing oneself to actually like said album (for whatever reason) rather than the album itself actually being any good. I'm not talking about you or Frost specifically, just sort of replying to the conceptual idea.

Anyways, on topic, I'd say Eld for the more straightforward BM and Isa for the more proggy stuff; you almost have to treat these eras as two distinct bands, each with their own best album. And, for me, it simply boils down to these albums having the songs that stayed with me the most.
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CityofScreamingStatues
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:53 pm 
 

I've been following and buying all their albums since Eld was released. Enslaved didn't become one of my favorite bands until Below the Lights. Still remains my favorite album by the band. I think its the perfect album between the eras. RIITIIR is my favorite of the newer albums.

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into_the_pit
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:04 pm 
 

best release is definitely hordanes land, followed by frost, then yggdrasil and vikingligr. hordanes land is pure magic that's even enhanced by the somewhat muddy production.
they've been going downhill ever since frost, and I completely lost them after blodhemn. you could already here it on eld. pretty easy to see which camp I'm in here, I guess.
anyway I'm grateful for everything up to and including frost, that string of releases is more than most bands can claim for themselves. it seems they just wanted to take a different musical path then that I didn't want to follow.
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299796kms
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:22 pm 
 

Eld for me. I love the production. Everything sounds crisp and clear. Lindisfarne is one of the most epic songs I've ever heard. The album alternates flawlessly from epic/progressive moments to raw aggression in the blink of an eye. It's the perfect bridge between their early BM stuff and more proggy later material. I think after Below the Lights they lost the plot, however.
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Chaosmonger
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:17 pm 
 

Acrobat wrote:
I like everything before the prog stuff. It almost feels like that in-your-face, overtly boring stuff is an insult to the brilliant, genuinely progressive, surprisingly subtle black metal stuff they did before they decided they wanted a Norwegian Grammy. Alright, so Blodheim is definitely the end of the road for their black metal stuff (lacks purpose somewhat, certainly doesn't match any of the stuff before that), but it's still better than the meandering yawn-heavy-'prog' they did later on. This should include the caveat that I haven't heard all of their prog stuff but Mardraum, Below the Lights and In Times have all been crap and the bits and bobs I've sampled were crap, too.


Below the Lights is really good, otherwise you are right

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Bates
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:38 pm 
 

I'll toss my hat in for Below The Lights. I do enjoy the newer ones to a point, but as someone pointed out, there's a bit of Borknagar runner-up thing going there.

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schizoid
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:22 am 
 

Interesting to see all the votes for Below the Lights. I guess it probably is that exact mid-ground between the old and new sound.
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Crescent_Moon
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:53 am 
 

Blodhemn. In my opinion there’s Blodhemn and there’s rest of their discography. This album full of barbaric wrath and very thrashy riffs.

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booK_of_blood
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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:26 am
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:11 am 
 

schizoid wrote:
Interesting to see all the votes for Below the Lights. I guess it probably is that exact mid-ground between the old and new sound.


Maybe because it was the only album where the band completely ditched the ridiculous Viking vibe and infused their music with some death metal aesthetics, making it a very interesting listening experience both black metal and death metal fans could enjoy...

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OzzyApu
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:53 am 
 

Isa was the first album I ever heard by them. I remember seeing the music video for the title song on MTV2 and I was enamored by how different it was from the usual stuff I heard (I had just barely gotten used to harsh vocals in music at that point). This was 2005, and ever since then that particular album has clicked with me the strongest from start to finish. It is my go-to Enslaved album alongside Axioma and In Times, the two others I gravitate toward. I'm much more of a fan of the band's Below the Lights and beyond era. Their whole discography is so strong.
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DividerOfShadows
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:26 pm 
 

Eld and In Times. Eld was, along with Vikingligr veldi, the first Enslaved album I've ever listened to, and In Times (save for "Building with Fire") simply blew me away. Solo in "Daylight" is so fucking beautiful.
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BrutalizerUtilizerOfTheShadows
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:47 pm 
 

Vikingligr veldi has always been my favorite by them, just pure epic black metal with some of the experimental/progressive moments that would come later. The song writing is so good! 'Vetrarnótt' and 'Heimdallr' are some of the greatest black metal songs ever written, and 'Lifandi liv undir hamri' has some cool keyboard work in it, as well as a surfy-groove vibe to it. It is just such a fun album and I never get tired of it.

That said, I love all eras of Enslaved. No matter what change in direction they took, they have always had their own sound! Never compromising, never following trends, they simply "sound like Enslaved" and I love that about them.
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cultofkraken
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:48 pm 
 

Hordanes Land for sure. Slaget i skogen bortenfor was pure magic the first time I heard it and 20 years later still evokes the same feeling. This is followed by Vikingligr Veldi, Eld, Blodhemn, Frost, Mardraum, Monumension, Below the Lights, Axioma Ethica Odini, Isa, RIITIIR, Vertabrae, In Times, E, and finally Ruun.

I know Hordanes Land is a cheat because it’s a MLP but I can’t not say it’s the best. Vikingligr also evokes the same feelings as does Eld. So that’s why they rank where they do.
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TrooperEd
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:53 pm 
 

Depending on the day it's either Frost or Vikinglidr Veldi.

Today it's Frost.
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Everflowingstream
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:35 pm 
 

Frost.

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Gemini 7 Rising
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:56 pm 
 

FirebathDan wrote:
Gemini 7 Rising wrote:
I would have to go with Frost, and it probably took 15 or 20 listens for it to really hit, but when it did... \m/


I don't mean to single you out here in a disrespectful manner, so I'll say that in a general sense, it seems to me that if it takes any person 15-20 listens for any album to finally click, it comes across more like forcing oneself to actually like said album (for whatever reason) rather than the album itself actually being any good. I'm not talking about you or Frost specifically, just sort of replying to the conceptual idea.


And I would agree with you in many cases, but then sometimes a particular album (or band) is so layered in its complexities, nuances, originality, whatever, that it simply takes awhile to fully appreciate the thought, craft, inspiration, etc. that went into it.

Also, just because it took me 15 - 20 listens to *fully* appreciate, or wrap my head around, doesn't mean I wasn't intrigued well before that. If I hadn't felt there was more there or that it was worth the investment, I never would've kept going back. And what probably isn't clear in my post is that all those times weren't over the course of a few weeks or months, I owned Frost for a couple years & would listen 2 or 3 times & then gravitate to something else (I have a fairly extensive collection) before returning to it later.

It's a little like dating; some people, right away, you know aren't worth the time & energy and others, you can't quite figure out, but they somehow keep you interested and later the payoff was worth it.
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PvtNinjer
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:48 pm 
 

Couple things I wanted to add.

Regarding the mentions of Hordanes Land: hell yes! I actually ended up hearing about Enslaved through the Emperor split it was on when I was first getting into metal and I torrented Emperor's entire discography. There was definitely something special about hearing it for the first time, the vastness of the songwriting was unlike anything I ever heard, it was all very epic and grandiose. I was hooked, and Enslaved became the other black metal band I was thoroughly obsessed with at the time. I was a fan of Yggdrasil, even though it was a little rough a round the edges and amateur (I especially loved the closing instrumental track). Vikingligr, which had the same sort of grandiose, spacious and epic/melancholic songwriting as Hordanes Land (except maybe a bit more repetitive) was my favourite for a long time, Frost never got much play from me because I really wasn't as into the go for the jugular approach on that one (although again the ambient intro was excellent) and when I did eventually get into more aggressive Enslaved, I was all about Maurdraum. Anyway, I'm rambling here so what I'll say is that Hordanes Land is definitely what originally got me into Enslaved and it, along with Vikingligr Veldi, where exactly what I loved about Enslaved at the time.

They've also been really good at mysterious and atmospheric ambient tracks and I wanna give a special mention to the intro to Blodhemn in particular, I think that track might have been what really got me into dark ambient/dungeon synth type stuff (honestly not sure what I'd label it, but yea).

edit: agree with what was said about albums that require time to appreciate: there's some albums that don't click but not in a "i hate this" sort of way, that you keep coming back to for reasons you can't figure out until it actually clicks. I don't think many people will listen to an album they absolutely hate more than a couple times (I usually try and give 3 listens, sometimes when I hear something and I'm in a crummy mood, it totally ruins the album for me, for example).

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Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:49 am
Posts: 438
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:06 pm 
 

Crescent_Moon wrote:
Blodhemn. In my opinion there’s Blodhemn and there’s rest of their discography. This album full of barbaric wrath and very thrashy riffs.


Fucking AWESOME album that seems to get very little praise from anyone. Easily one of their best and an album I always sing the praises of whenever the topic of Enslaved comes up.
Mardraum is my favourite with honourable mentions too Blodhemn, Frost, Below The Lights, Axioma and In Times.
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PurpleDoom
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:39 pm
Posts: 287
Location: Gazing into the deep
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:58 pm 
 

Blodhemn isn't my favorite Enslaved album but it is my favorite of their 90s material by a long shot. Something about Frost and Eld just hasn't clicked with me (though I enjoy Hordanes Land from time to time). I'm definitely more a fan of their later material; of the ones I've heard, it's honestly pretty hard for me to pick a single favorite. I can certainly see where the Below the Lights supporters are coming from, but I personally think I gravitate towards the In Times and E sound the most.

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