Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

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

Privacy Policy

Progressive Aggressiveness - 92%

PassiveMetalhead, March 9th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Nuclear Blast (Limited edition, Digipak)

From the depths of satanic malice in the Norwegian black metal scene, Enslaved emerged and grew to be a band that expanded its sound beyond primary recognition while still inhibiting black metal ancestry as a foundation. The band’s lengthy discography displays progressiveness in a way that their career path mimics their progressive song structure. Unbound by genre pigeon-holing, Enslaved have become a reckoned force by exploiting the freedom and pride of experimentation in their music.

The immediate fury of 'Thurisaz Dreaming' introduces their recognizable black metal roots. It’s a relentless track full of levitating hooks, guttural growls and guitar slides that can only be rivaled by bands such as Gojira. However Enslaved are renowned for their changes in musical structure and direction. The same song glides through textured moments of psychic riffing and ritualistic chants underlying Ivar Bjørnosn’s polished clean vocals. This controlled chaos is evident in the adventurous 'Nauthir Bleeding'; complex rhythmic changes burst into drama and atmospheric theatrics at the drop of a helmet to build on the overall agitation of the song that then lead into a kaleidoscopic passages of prog and then back to a quickened pace once more.

Even though In Times is in keeping with Enslaved’s unique genre bending sound, it is still a balanced record. Some songs may follow a natural speed or structure whilst others spin out of control into mid-section prog instrumentals or black metal frenzied riffs. The heavy and lighter elements slip together seamlessly in 'Building With Fire'. It is only until three quarters of the song that they break the overall tempo of the song to give the bass and keyboards some spotlight to build up the climatic chorus and unceremonious ending. 'One Thousand Years Of Rain' is also one of the most consistent songs on the record. Grutle Kjellson’s demonic shrieks connect to Ivar’s beautiful harmonies in an uncommon yet tremendously successful way that is resonant throughout the album. After the twinkling strumming of acoustics gives way to full throttle grooves the song emerges itself as the most fist pumping, headbanging songs to have been created since 2009’s Axioma Ethica Odini.

The title track continues to plough the familiarly progressive channel as its predecessor, its lengthy instrumentation intro drifting slowly through a cosmic void of coloured combination of light and shade. The subtle pieces are eventually shattered by a heavy centralized Opeth-like riff against the ghostly wails and rippling solos of Kjellson, Bjørnosn and Isdal who swap without warning from quiet meditation to burning rage. Similarly on closer and stand out track 'Daylight', some moments of mid tempo riffing implode into a single melody that blossoms into a web of pure bliss and tranquillity. An incredible tear-jerking solo encapsulates this harmonious section until the unexpected heaviness returns until its abrupt ending. Within this crescendo alone Enslaved unveil a real sense of completion and pride to In Times. This is progressive wrath at its finest.