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Enslaved's best - 99%

InvokeTheDarkAge, October 11th, 2006

This is a wonderful effort by Enslaved. I would say this is Enslaved at their most realized and their most evocative. Just like their last two efforts, “Vikingr Veldi” and “Frost” the guitars are ferocious and harsh, but are full of underlying melodies. Gruttle’s vocals are still as sharp and as harsh as they were before and fit nice with the ringing, eerie melodies. The production is a bit more refined then the previous efforts. This is certainly a good thing, as it truly captures the essence of this record and the mood of a what Viking metal should have, robust and grandiose. The guitars are brought a bit more, which really help.
While Enslaved have a great epic punch and are seemingly full of confidence, they sure aren’t afraid to branch out a bit. Beneath the rapid fire riffing and drumming were it seems like chaos has arisen are some nice subtle keyboard touches and Gruttle’s clean vocals. They only enhance the album’s power and adds a real majestic and monumental feel to it. Combined, “Eld” creates some real nice thought-provoking imagery. While previous efforts were full of sweeping, cold melodies, the ideas seemed stretched too thin to keep the listener fully attentive. In “Eld” Enslaved add a bit more diversity and complexity which grabs you all the way through. To wrap it all up, this is Enslaved at their most focused, surely a Viking metal must!