Thursday, March 12, 2015
Enslaved - In Times (2015)
"In Times" is the name of the band's 13th studio effort and follows the 2012 release "RIITIIR", a album that was very interesting and unique, but missed a real cutting edge. That cutting edge has been found again, and has been implemented into this 6 songs long album, the lowest amount of songs in a Enslaved album since the debut "Vikingligr Vildi", whom only contains 5 songs. But do not expect a short and sweet ride from this band, all songs except for one has a length of about 8 minutes, and the one who does not have that length is 10 minutes long, so it adds up to a total play time of around 53 minutes.
The thing that really surprised me with "In Times" is how catchy it is. The album is without a doubt the most easily accessible Enslaved album up to date, mostly thanks to some groovy rhythms and a pretty good chunk of clean vocals. The black metal influence is definitely still there, but the band has evolved their music further and paved way for something that would even work for those who are not so interested in black metal. "Building The Fire" is the perfect example of just that. It is a groovy songs with hooky guitar riffs and excellent clean singing, but it also contains several dark spots with double bass rhythms and strong harsh vocals. A great mix of all of Enslaved's abilities.
The remaining 5 songs are all stellar pieces as well, together creating a very strong outing. The opener "Thurisaz Dreaming" is more classic Enslaved, while "Nauthir Bleeding" shifts genres here and there through out the song, from soft ambient, to black metal and Opeth like progressive metal. "One Thousand Years of Rain" is a fantastic song that mixes punk tempo with a great, epic atmosphere and some really amazing singing, both clean and harsh. Finally, the two ending songs, "In Times" and "Daylight", ends the album in a stylistic fashion, continuing on creating a whole song out of different types of styles, and doing it successfully. The ending to "Daylight" is just so magnificent and grand, but still very melodic.
Enslaved continues their never ending streak on creating fantastic albums. "In Times" is a wonderful record that mixes tons of styles, but still maintains the true Enslaved sound that we all love. Because of the band's strong discography, I would not count this album as one of the best ones, but it is still a world class album that will be a contender for a lot of metal heads and their year end lists. I can think that 6 songs are quite a low number for an album, but when all the 6 songs shows a very high standard, I am not going to complain. So go listen to this record or any other Enslaved record if you have not already, because these guys are definitely worthy of fulfill your life with some high quality metal.
Songs worthy of recognition: One Thousand Years of Rain, Thurisaz Dreaming, Building With Fire, Daylight
Rating: 9/10 Nauthirs