Norwegian progressive metal band Enslaved are back with their 13th studio album In Times, their first album in three years, which is a huge gap for the Scandinavian band. From their early days of black metal, Enslaved has always held a special place in my heart. The band plays with an intensity that few bands show. While their sound has evolved over the years, they are very consistent in terms of quality and output.
Coming from the early days when the band was darker and simpler, the band has truly honed their songwriting to a very special place. Of course, many black metal purists despise the notion of the band altering their true black metal sound because some fans want a very specific sound and formula in their black metal. Enslaved has outgrown those roots and have sprouted new ones. To me, their sound is still special regardless of what form the band has taken now.
In the epitome of the consistency that Enslaved has always shown, In Times is yet another solid release. In terms of consistency, the main constant of Enslaved is that nothing remains constant and the band is always exploring and always bringing a fresh perspective to their songs although In Times shows more of the band’s black metal releases since anything they have released in the last decade.
Unfortunately, Enslaved tends to get compared to Opeth far too often because of their experimental side, but the fact of the matter is that they do not possess the technical prowess that Opeth has. If not for the amazing atmosphere that Enslaved has set over the years, they would just be your run of the mill progressive metal band.
Songs like “Daylight” have an incredible atmosphere and even features some amazing guitar work towards the latter half of the track. “Thurisaz Dreaming” is one of the closest things to their old black metal days that the band has recorded in a long time.
Overall, In Times is a great release that still tends to stretch the boundaries greater than Enslaved has ever stretched before.
Enslaved: In Times Tracklisting
1. Thurisaz Dreaming – 8:13
2. Building With Fire – 8:49
3. One Thousand Years of Rain – 8:13
4. Nauthir Bleeding – 8:10
5. In Times – 10:44
6. Daylight – 8:56
Grutle Kjellson – vocals, basses, double bass, bass pedals, FX
Ivar Bjørnson – guitars, backing vocals, synthesizer, FX, piano
Cato Bekkevold – drums
Herbrand Larsen – vocals, organ, keyboards
Ice Dale – guitars, backing vocals
Iver Sandøy – additional FX, backing vocal
Einar Kvitrafn Selvik – special vocal appearance on “One Thousand Years of Rain”