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Enslaved - Yggdrasill (split with Satyricon)
Review: Enslaved give a peek into the minds of developing artists working through older versions of songs on the Emperor/Enslaved split in a trademark blastingly distorted metal that evokes visions of medieval European music. An epic take on the Norse style helps this band blast out songs at bouncy, high-energy tempos with a heavy melodic overtone and stringent guitar technique to adulterate what would be otherwise unbearably happy black metal.
Riffs are simple melodies and scale-walking microrhythmic devices, placed into context by scarce choruses and abundant verses with variations, interjections, and other elements of theatrical music. Blockade running drums race after the heartbeat of terrified prey or drop onto the beat with double-hitting, counterpoint-driven, battled-hardened phrases which serve halfway as verse/fill but more as permutations of verse entirely. What lead guitar does exist is simple but provocative.
While keeping their material nondogmatic Enslaved fall to the easy melodrama of demonstrative mimesis, having obvious themes to contrast central elements in each song. Mostly abstract however, their most cogent real world statements are in the old world melodies of each song and the sweetness and hope with which these are crafted. In this sense I believe them when they call themselves "Viking metal."