Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

In Times - 70%

GeorgeMFZB852, March 28th, 2015

As one of metal's most consistent bands, Norwegians Enslaved have gone from dark black metal on their debut to deeper, more complex releases in recent years. Throughout this time, the group have displayed the quality of their songwriting and musicianship, as well as their ability to stay fresh and innovative. Emerging now with 13th album In Times, the group continue this trend, albeit to no astounding degree. Ultimately a black metal release comprising of mostly mid-tempo metal, the release is also improved by a healthy dose of melodic undertones and progressive musical elements. As something black metal bands often refuse to utilise, it stands out as unique and effective, most notably on the distinctive mood and stunning guitar solo of 'Daylight'.

Enslaved also - as always - show a knack for effectively layering their work in complicated but exceptional ways, and being smart enough to not always stay routed in the somewhat limiting genre of black metal. It keeps the music interesting for longer, and in some places, means the tracks only improve the more you hear them. For example, the infectious bass line that accompanies the repetitive but brilliant opening riff of the title track completes an awesome metal intro, despite the fact that it is routed just outside black metal sonically.

The Norwegian veterans may show a welcome level of depth on much of In Times, but it's hard not to notice that it's slightly less than on previous releases. The group's interesting song structures are still present, but moments of 'Building With Fire' seem a bit disjointed, seemingly like a strange attempt at heavy rock, but coming across as a bit too straightforward for Enslaved.

Each Enslaved release has something that makes it stand out. Here, it's the less metal approach of the proggy undertones. Less doomy and mystifying than before, they shape the album's unique sound, making it just as atmospheric and engaging, but in a noticeably different way.

While it's unlikely to stand among their most remembered albums of this, their more progressive era, In Times is still an undeniably engaging album. Staying relevant by adapting but not completely shifting in style, Enslaved have again shown their remarkably consistent songwriting. The odd moment may fall flat of the mark, but whether it's the angry attack of 'Thurisaz Dreaming' or the more atmospheric tones of 'Daylight', more open minded metal fans have much here to appreciate.

originally posted on noisecannon.com