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Timeout from the blackness - 90%

LoGrade, May 22nd, 2008

I see this pattern happening with a lot of bands. You're either a fan of the legacy that the band built originally and then you see them change styles and you lose interest in the band. Thankfully for me, I wasn't a fan of Enslaved before Isa or Ruun came out. I didn't own any of their albums and I think had only heard one or two of their classic viking metal songs without even realizing who it was. So listening to these two albums from a fresh perspective without any of the "they sold-out/changed/suck" stigma that goes along with a band changing styles/formats/genres.

Per friend's recommendation, I picked up 'Isa' and it was a good "timeout album." One of those albums that lets you take a breather from all the extreme metal you constantly listen to while still having the balls of extreme metal. I listened to 'Isa' constantly for several weeks until I all about killed it and then started looking at reviews of Ruun and thinking about picking it up!

I wasn't disappointed! I like Ruun a bit more than Isa, actually. For the uninitiated, describing Ruun to you might be a bit hard. Take a dark, ambient rock sound. Add extreme metal influences to it (i.e., double bass peddling, blast beats, growls/rasps). And finally top it off with a black metal band covering Pink Floyd.

This mix of genres and sounds might have people saying that Enslaved is intentionally encroaching on Opeth's style of mixing melodic interludes with grim extreme blackness, but to that I say that in concept it may appear that way, but actually listening to the bands give you very different vibes. From Ruun I get a very bleak, but ambiently-groovy black metal vibe. I think it's the perfect music for the winter-time, on a cold morning walk to work/class.

Back to how this is a "timeout album". I think this is a perfect timeout album where if you're a fan of extreme metal but are exhausted from listening to nonstop black/death/grind metal, this is a good album to relax and chill out to while still being able to nod your head and throw the horns on occassion.