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Old 12-15-2012, 12:34 AM   #28
Reaper16 Reaper16 is offline
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12. Enslaved – RIITIIR

This is Enslaved’s 12th studio album since 1994, and like all Enslaved LPs it sounds nothing like the other Enslaved LPs. I’ve been calling Enslaved “the Pink Floyd of Black Metal” for years now; this band is simply unafraid to take whatever risks they think up. They’re constantly seeking to redefine the limits of black metal. This album sees the band focus on polyrhythm being played against a backdrop reminiscent of Yes’ best material. 70’s prog with modern American metal sensibilities, basically. But wait, there’s a new wrinkle. Enslaved’s keyboardist is providing clean vocals! And he’s really good at them! These clear, high, super-melodic clean vocals take Enslaved into new melodic territory. They could use this as an excuse to make the most accessible record of their career, but instead Enslaved just uses this as an excuse to make the song structures more dense, ever shifting. Because they know the melodies will ground the listener even as they can’t keep up with the rhythm section. “Roots of the Mountain” is straight-up beautiful (even when it tries to pummel you), and “Thoughts Like Hammers” shows American metal bands how to do repetitive groove riffs correctly without sacrificing edge or melody. Enslaved albums are always eye-opening, this being no exception.



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