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Enslaved - Monumension
Review: There is a wonderful ambient metal album hiding within the associated junk that builds up over a career of trying to be a metal musician; sloping, gently-unfolding passages that present threatening absences of solidity in a context of hopeful discovery of new spaces, these ambient moments emerge during the earlier part of this album and show the kind of music these musicians compose when inspired by love of what they do. The rest of the album -- unfortunately, its bulk -- is tedious and repetitive wallpaper cut from the framework of speed metal and heavy metal, and thus familiar to anyone who has been around for more than a few years. It's "creative" in the sense of applying known variations to known archetypes in a different order, but in a metaphysical sense, that is not distinct from going up a down escalator because it is unexpected. They do a reasonable job of bringing in atmosphere, in a method hybridized from Pink Floyd and the Doors that uses undistorted guitar strummed to asymmetrical rhythms to build a sense of falling water-style randomness resulting in consistency, but at some point, the crashing of Very Boring metal archetypes must occur and at this point, the album loses its magic and like a cheeseburger becomes an obvious device for pandering to the lowest common denominator. Clearly these guys have talent that expands beyond this type of music, so they must be very bored with the lives they now have.