ALBUM: Enslaved -“RIITIIR”
LABEL: Nuclear Blast
GENRE: Progressive Black/Viking Metal
RATING: 9.0 / 10
We’ve had quite a journey together, me and Enslaved, since I first picked up the Emperor/Enslaved split-album back in 1993. From the excellent albums “Vikingligr Veldi” and “Frost” to the 1997-2003 era which didn’t really tickle me that much. With “Isa” (2004) I once again re-discovered Enslaved and with “Asioma Ethica Odini” (2010) all my doubts of this bands greatness were once again gone. I had high hopes for “RIITIIR”, but never did I except this monster that I have now enjoyed for the past week.
“RIITIR” shows a fully grown, mature side of Enslaved. The black metallish-vibes are still present, but the playfullness and flirting with old progrock, progressive metal and at times even shoegaze-like riffing is pure brilliance. “RIITIIR” never gets boring since it is filled with so much passages and surprises, which only downside might be that the album requires an open ear from the listener in order to fully grasp everything. But then again, albums that keep on growing and requires an active style of listening are almost often the albums that become future classics. Not only is the cover artwork a beautiful piece of art, so is this album, that without a doubt is one of this years strongest releases so far.
♠Recommended tracks: Thoughts like Hammers / Roots of the mountain
Review by: TK