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Enslaved - Blodhemn
Review: Staggering out of ideas near the end of the middle of their career, Enslaved thought briefly and came up with this slab of ripping black metal that shows technical death metal influences filtered in through bands like Satyricon, done with the Enslaved sense of dark melody and a new desire to make sudden and unrelenting riffs the bulk of each song. The atmospheric shifts of previous works have hardened to vestigial nubs of momentary transition, like a station identification, that flash between fast fingered fretting of intricate, often battering riffs. Vocals drill on constantly as do the guitars, nailing every beat with a fixed intensity that loses power quickly. Where this album is great is not as listening in the style of older Enslaved, but in its ability to maintain multiple iterations of power chord riffing in the technical style, which creates a pleasantly abstract texture in the background of any gathering.