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Enslaved - RUUN
Review: With this release, we see black metal smoothly integrated into the rock/emo/metalcore that is popular these days. With some hints of British progressive and shoegazer tendencies, this CD is almost entirely composed of fast slightly dissonant riffs alternating with melodic lead patterns which specialize in going nowhere but cycling. Clean voices and interludes drop throughout the whole thing, but really, it's a more archly dramatic version of a Callisto album with black metal vocals.
What Enslaved seem to fail to understand is that while labels and fans will encourage you to make your own version of what's currently popular, people subconsciously find bands desirable when they escape those tendencies, because the most popular tendencies always express not something distinctive but a massive compromise that is popular because it is nonthreatening. Despite all of its pretensions toward truthfulness, this album is a heap of tediously indecisive waffling. Enslaved need to make a choice: do they want to be one of the crowd, or return to putting truth before being inoffensive? Indeed, that is an excellent description here: inoffensive, melodic, with that emo-inspired edge of partial dissonance that makes it "bittersweet" to the inexperienced (or stupid) listener. How low the mighty fall.