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I tied an onion to my belt... - 55%

zeingard, February 12th, 2008

Alongside 'Isa', 'Ruun' stands as further proof that progression can only reach such heights before it all comes crashing down. Whilst 'Ruun' manages to mostly eschew the heavy use of keyboards and melodic sections of Enslaved's previous output it never replaces them with anything interesting, when further coupled with the lack of well-written riffs and over abundance of clean vocals you are left with directionless and anti-climatic album. The songs all manage to stick to around 4 - 6 minutes and use similar structures through out with little deviation, except possibly "Path to Vanir" but that's because it's so stripped down and simplistic.

The first three songs are probably the best; they don't meander about with complex arrangements nor do they shoehorn in obtuse keyboards and unnecessary sections for the sake of proclaiming to be deeper than they appear and whatnot. "Entroper" is straight-forward heavy metal riffing with some supporting keyboards and plenty of decent bass work which is pleasant to hear for once. "Path to Vanir" has prominent keyboards, is catchy and not complete suck, although that quiet section in the latter half is very suspect but it's pretty enjoyable and at least memorable. Finally "Fusion of Sense and Earth" is another straight-forward song that rocks out fucking hard with the only decent solo on this entire album, even the breaks in this song are very well timed and everything just flows perfectly. You can probably stop listening to the album after that song because the rest is blander than a bowl of porridge mixed with cardboard; it's all very long-winded with no attempts to write any real metal riffs to give the songs some actual structure and momentum. Really there's nothing else to say that could make that point any more crystalline, if you need some idea just imagine "The Crossing" from 'Below the Lights' mixed with all the boring parts in 'Isa'; it's all very repetitive riffing with way too much clean vocals going all over the place whilst the keyboards pump out flat melodies.

'Isa' and 'Ruun' are one and the same really; 'Ruun' has better mixing and more consistent song lengths, 'Isa' is more consistent overall and has an epic final track. They share the traits of being progressively fucking boring and no doubt this is thanks to copying bands like Opeth who have money coming out of all their orifices because the average fucktard creams their pants when a band has the 'audacity' to contrast melodic and harsh sections, as though it's some sort of fucking revelation or intellectual paragon. Enslaved really should have taken the first three tracks from 'Ruun' and the better moments of 'Isa' along with that song "Reogenesis" and made a single album rather than these two progressive abortions. It's highly perplexing to see a band write three good songs and then proceed to write complete drivel that takes 30 minutes to accomplish nothing, you may as well go listen to 'Reign in Blood' because despite being two good songs and the same song repeated eight times at least it's a constructive use of your time and is headbangingly fucking awesome. I digress; 'Ruun' is not a good album and serves to only perpetuate this ideal of repetition and monotony as a symbol of being progressive, had they cut down to the first three songs then 'Ruun' would have been a fun little EP, alas it was not to be so.