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Below the Lights

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Album Review

One of the few early-wave Norwegian black metal bands still making music in the early 2000s, Enslaved has also remained quite prolific. Below the Lights is their third album of the decade, and with it, they unfold a rare balance between remaining innovative and experimental without getting into a lot of electronic trickery. Often that balancing act takes place literally, the band coming up with odd juxtapositions such as layering a sad, soaring guitar solo over a fierce blastbeat ("As Fire Swept Clean the Earth"), or a bluesy hard rock solo over a galloping black metal backdrop ("The Dead Stare"). At other points, the contrasts are more clear-cut, such as the abrupt switch into the death metal-ish middle section on "As Fire Swept..." Elsewhere, Enslaved also offers up chanting Norse vocals and intricate prog-rock passages ("Havenless"), a harmonically unusual guitar/flute/drum intro ("Queen of the Night"), some tasteful synthesizer passages, and plenty of good old-fashioned guttural death metal riffing as well. Yet for all its variety, this is still a fairly heavy, meat-and-potatoes album with plenty of emotional nuance as well. There are a few spots where Enslaved's ambitions get the better of them, but the experimentation is welcome in any case, and most of it does work. Below the Lights will likely stand out down the road as one of the top black metal releases of 2003.

Customer Reviews


Possibly Enslaved's finest moment, but I'm geussing that this will not be heard on the first listen. Give this record a chance and be amazed.

Very Good !!!

This album of enslaved are awesome !!!

Below The Lights!

Après un album comme Monumensions je me demandais si Below the Lights serait à la hauteur de mes attentes. Et bien je dois dire qu'il a dépassé mes attentes et ce disque est aussi bon sinon meilleur que Monumension. Toutes les chansons sont tout simplement sublimes et elles nous montrent l'énorme talent des membres d'Enslaved. Les gars nous produisent une musique toujours aussi pesante et bien exécutée. Mais à l'instar de Monumension, Below the Lights contient de plus grandes étendues instrumentales ,Grutle se fait plus discret, mais il ne manque pas de nous rappeler sa présence avec sa voix puissante et destructrice. Below the lights est sans l'ombre d'un doute (a mon humble avis) l'album le plus aboutit de la carrière d'Enslaved, pour moi c'est le groupe a son sommet. Album à découvrir absolument!


Formed: 1991 in Bergen, Norway

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Norwegian black metal band Enslaved were formed in 1991 by guitarist/keyboardist Ivar Bjørnson and bassist Grutle Kjellson; a demo titled Yggdrstll followed a year later. The group's official albums during the '90s included 1994's Frost, 1997's Eld, and 1999's Blodhemn. In fall 2000, the band issued Mardraum, and continued over the following decades with the full-lengths Monumension (2001), Below the Lights (2003), Isa (2004), Ruun (2006), Vertebrae (2008), Axioma Ethica Odini (2010), and RIITIIR...
Full bio
Below the Lights, Enslaved
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