Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Enslaved, Bergen's marauding viking heroes really came of age to me when they stepped in at the last minute to cover the non-appearance of a resurgent and highly popular Celtic Frost at 2008's Roadburn due to the forefathers implosion.
They turned up and I remember watching this driving, tremolo-picking leviathan on a stage with projections of Norwegian nature behind them, their amps covered in runic flags and just being shocked; this was when I started to sit up and really take notice of them.
After I hastily obtained a copy of 2006's Ruun (a strong album and contender for one of my favourite albums of any genre of metal, ever) I felt a bit let down by 2008's Vertebrae, thinking that the progressive elements were taking over, not a bad thing in itself, but not quite gelling with the Black Metal template.
So, it was with equal parts excitement and trepidation that I waited for the new release, Axioma Ethica Odini.
I needn't have worried.
The prog parts are still there, and are as prevalent as ever, but it all fits together.
The whole impression I get is of standing by a harbour watching the sea, and in some parts looking out over the bow of a ship as you crest another wave and crash into the sea under a star filled sky.
The sense of space and grandeur is ever present on this album, whist some tracks are cold, claustrophobic slices of creepy raw Black Metal.
Overall, one of the strongest Black Metal albums I've heard in a long time, Good enough to sit proudly alongside Hammerheart.