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Another Enslaved gem - 85%

Ikil, May 2nd, 2006

For me, If there is one thing I admire about certain bands, its consistency. To be able to keep making good albums. For me, Dimmu Borgir has done this, Behemoth, Opeth, Neurosis, Satyricon, a few others. Enslaved is another. I especially have great admiration for Enslaved and Opeth because, for me, they are still making great albums after having both released 8 and now Enslaved, 9.

No, I don't think everything Enslaved has done is amazing (I felt Blodhemn was a let down although still good), but I still think everything they have released has been above the 'good' mark. Everything since Blodhemn though has been fantastic for me, to a point where it seems as now this band can't do wrong with their music. People get sick of me and my worship of Opeth. Well Enslaved is another band you are going to get sick of me talking about.

Anyways, I have listened to RUUN 5 times now, and it gets better with each listen. I will admit, first time I heard this, I wasn't blown away, it was like slight disappointment, much the same way when I first heard Opeth's Ghost Reveries. Maybe I had other expectations, I don't know. But I guess with a band like Enslaved, you have to expect the unexpected. So I listened to it again straight afterwards and from there on in , I was getting more impressed with each listen.

RUUN opens with a very rockish opener in Entroper, kind of reminding me of what Satyricon is doing now, only this has a cold feel to it. Nothing too amazing, but a good enough track to get you into it and the clean vocals at the end certainly help it get over the mark. From there, we are treated with the catchy Path to Vanir with its cool melodies before a soft/clean moment with clean vocals an it sounds very post rockish. Very good. One of the high moments of the album for me.

Fusion of Sense and Earth opens with a riff that brings back memories of Frost only this has the sound of the Enslaved we know today. We are then treated with more melodies and a very cool solo as well.

To me, Some of this album sounds like A Perfect Circles - Mer De Noms, but in a more extreme metal way. There are quite a number of tracks that have that atmospheric guitar sound in the background like APC uses, not to mention some very catchy melodies like what APC does as well. This is evident in RUUN, Tides of Chaos and Api-vat. But don't worry, the heaviness and raw riffs are still there and they are great, however, I really like this approach that Enslaved has taken. I also think that Grutle's clean vocals are his best yet, he seems to get better with each album. They sound very folkish and really fit in with what Enslaved is doing here. Its awesome!

For me, I'd say this album is better than ISA, better than Below the Lights as well but probably just doesn't have enough to take over Monumension, which is my favourite Enslaved album (I felt they hit it perfect in that album). But who knows what I may think over time. The only complaint I do have is I wish this album was longer than 46 minutes.

In closing, Enslaved fans, especially of their later efforts should be happy with this. Its not for everyone, but for those that appreciate bands being experimental and taking their sound to different areas rather than just metal, I think you will be pleased.

All I can say is, Enslaved has done it again.