Enslaved to the music.
An album review ought to be an objective look at the entirety of a band’s work. A fair summary of their songs, the good and bad, to help the reader form an opinion as to whether or not they should invest their time and money into said album. I was planning on doing such a thing to the new album by Enslaved, “In Times,” but the truth is that this is going to be less a review and more of me just being a freaking fanboy because oh my god this album is amazing I love it AAAAH!
Heavy metal is a funny genre. It’s not for everyone, and not all of it is for all its fans. Some people hate clean vocals, while others think growling is dumb. Some like more powerful, grinding rhythms you can bang your head to, while others enjoy melodies and soaring choruses that can uplift you. To me, Enslaved is a smart mix of all these things, and “In Times” is a great offering from this great band.
I’ve loved Enslaved for some time now. I first became aware of them when I saw them open for Dimmu Borgir (another excellent metal band) and was blown away by their live performance. I looked into their music and was hooked. Enslaved’s blend of progressive and aggressive metal, clean vocals and growling, quickly put them at the top of my must-listen list. I own three of their albums; Veretbrae, Axioma Ethica Odini, and RIITIIR. I highly recommend them to anyone who loves heavy metal compositions. Not songs. Compositions.
And that’s what “In Times” is full of. Compositions. In my opinion, a song is a tune you can easily grasp on the first listen and maybe snap your fingers to. It’s nothing you need to really think about to enjoy, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t need a complex meal every time you sit down to eat, but sometimes you want something with depth. Sometimes you want music you need to listen to a few times, grasping what the composer was going for, discovering new elements with every play of the album. Every song on In Times is like that. There are only six of them, but each is a hearty meal of metal, with layers yet to be discovered and fully appreciated.
I’m not done with “In Times” by a long shot. I’m still hungry for more.