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When lots of musical trends meet... - 76%

Sigfadir, August 22nd, 2010

Putting out an album after a masterpiece like Mardraum : Beyong the Within is no easy task. Some bands will take the easy path and create a similar product. Enslaved instead took the hard road and chose to evoluate in their musical journey.

Right at the start of the album, you can't help but notice a change in sound. "I've already heard this sound", sounds like Pink Floyd I told myself. But then, heavy riffs and mad drumming kick off. Kjellson's sick harsh vocals are as good as ever. Convoys to Nothingness finishes off with a slow outro, Nicely done.

The Voices is an absolute killer. The guitars and especially the vocals on this one sound as vicious as you can get. The melodies in the middle of the song are rather smooth, but contrast very well with the heavy riffing.

Vision : Sphere of the Elements is a good exemple of those hybrid songs. The song begins with a sharp guitar attack and then goes smoother. There's a nice Led Zeppelin-esque breakdown at 3:50 before that killer guitar riff ends the song

Hollow Inside starts off as a ballad in a pure Pink Floyd tradition. Very slow and atmosphere music with murmured words. Lyrics explore the theme of travelling in your head. The music goes heavier halfway though the song before finishing off calmly. The keyboard is really well used on this song

I definitly hear a lot of doom influences on The Cromlech Gate. You know, with slow and almost whining melodies. The song is about a fool wanting to bring back his father from a paralell existance. The vocals are really deep and gruesome to a certain extent. A+ for this one

Enemy I starts off rather agressive but loses tempo. There's a huge part of the song with no vocals in the middle. Really well done mid-tempo riffs with a few doom and death metal influences here and there

Enslaved goes back to more classic sounding black metal on Smirr. Fast guitars and drums with high sounding harsh vocals. The only problem with this song is that it goes nowhere. The riffs follow themselves in a bizzarre way and the result is quite dull

The Sleep : Floating Diversity is quite a long song but all the parts are put together in a really well done fashion. Lots of progressive stuff on this one and the outcome is epic! Starts off with atmospheric guitars and clean vocals. There's a very good heavy part in the middle. The rest of the song ends up with clean vocals, keyboards and harmonies.

The outro is somewhat forgetable. Focuses on slow drums with guitars doing weird noises around

And to finish off this record right, why not add a song as close as you can get as old norse music? Sigmundskabadet, by HOV, is sung in clean vocals with very few instruments but is an absolute must. 10/10

There's something for everyone on this record. However, to fully appreciate this record, the listener must be open-minded as there are a lot of different influences and musical trends present on this album. Monumension has it's great moments and a few ordinary songs too. It surely won't stand as the best Enslaved album but I have to give the band two thumbs up for the effort, the desire and the courage of exploring new musical realms. Best songs are : The Voices, Cromlech Gate and Convoys to Nothingness