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Pure Majesty - 100%

cultofkraken, January 26th, 2007

This is the cd release that solidified Enslaved as the heavyweight champion of Viking metal (along with Bathory). After reading the last review I had to add my 2 cents, as I think that the other reviewer is not coming at this release with the proper context. Lets remember that Enslaved is one of the originators (along with later Bathory whose viking works pre-date Enslaved) of this genre (releases like the Hordanes Land EP is one of the greatest pieces of art ever to these ears), and that this album came out in the early nineties (1994 to be exact) and that their Windir cover came 10 years later, so some changes both in production and in other aspects are to be expected, but I digress.

The material found here is quite impressive.. epic with long sprawling songs (averaging around 10 minutes per song) and hypnotic riffs, IE: Vetrarnatt in particular with one of the most breathtaking moments ever found in any song. It seems that Enslaved attempt on this album is to keep the aesthetic constraints of the second wave of black metal, but expand the thoughts outside of the typical content of standard black metal of the time, effectively establishing an extreme style of Viking metal. One can look at this album (and Eld) as a blueprint for bands like Moonsorrow, Windir et al... in the genre of viking metal.

This album gives me a nostalgic feel that makes me long for simpler times without the societal woes, pitfalls and bullshit that we have to deal with nowadays. It truly is a classic from one of the strongest aesthetic eras of black metal music and its kin, and is worthy of your respect.