Enslaved – E (2017)


Overflowing with creativity and musicianship, today we have Enslaved’s latest opus “E”. Delivering over 45 minutes superbly catchy Progressive Black/Viking Metal, the band continues to refine their explosive sound with a few new tweaks and a whole lot of energy. Just when you think the band can’t get any better, they manage to push the envelope and perfectly balance their old-school elements within the confines of their more modern endeavors.

The album opens with a very light and to a point Post-Rockish vibe on “Storm Son”. This slowly evolves into more Progressive and Enslaved-like territories with dual vocal arrangements, catchy riffs and tight drum patterns. This opener is quite effective as it nicely bridges the band’s last release “In Times”, with what is coming in “E”. The headbanging continues with the extreme catchiness of “The River’s Mouth”, a piece that is quite interesting as the clean vocals remind us a bit of Fear Factory and create a unique contrast.

The proggy and yet very aggressive undertones of “Sacred Horse” makes it quite a song as it dabbles with more atmospheric elements. Filled with crafty guitar work, “Axis of the Worlds” is a song that perfectly showcases the band’s evolution over the years and their abilities to construct such intricate pieces while staying true to their sound. We are quite impressed on how the release up till this track sounds a bit like “RIITR” and “Axioma Ethica Odini”, but yet there are subtle elements that make these songs more evolved and different.

As the album comes to a close, the band adds extra experimental elements to “Feathers of Eolh” with the inclusion of vocals by Einar Selvik, Kjetil Møster;s saxophone and Daniel Mage on flute. These elements add an extra layer of atmosphere to a track that is already quite engaging and diverse. Our personal favorite in this release has to be the dreamy “Hiindsiight”, a highlight atmospheric piece that brilliantly brings in all elements together to create one of the best Enslaved songs in the last few years.

Mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren, “E” definitely showcases Enslaved at its best. Keeping all the elements that have made the band successful in the last couple of decades and pushing the envelope with a few new tricks, this is a release that fans of the band won’t want to miss. If you like Progressive Metal, this album will certainly keep you entertained for more than a few dozen spins.

Band: Enslaved Album: E

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Release: October 13th, 2017

Official Site Social Media

Genre: Progressive Black/Viking Metal

Country: Norway

Rating: 95/100

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