RIITIIR by Enslaved on Apple Music

8 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Never mind that Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson are now the only original members of the Norwegian black metal band Enslaved—the group's 2012 album RIITIIR is its most progressive to date. This band has been pushing the boundaries of black metal ever since its 1994 debut album, Vikingligr Veldi. Its 12th album is also its longest. At five minutes and 26 seconds, the multi-tiered title track is the shortest song here. It balances elegantly haunting melodies and feral, demonic screaming without succumbing to obvious metalcore trappings. Meanwhile, the opening “Thoughts Like Hammers” drops listeners smack-dab in the middle of a metal maelstrom. After a typhoon of guitar feedback and relentless drum bludgeoning taper off, a doomy riff rises from the smoldering ashes; over this, Kjellson and Bjørnson do a Dr. Jekyll–and–Mr. Hyde call and response. With blast beats and ascending riffs intact, the band injects its Viking death metal with innovative arrangements that venture into the realm of classic prog rock. The closer is “Forsaken," an awe-inspiring epic that blasts past the 11-minute mark.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Never mind that Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson are now the only original members of the Norwegian black metal band Enslaved—the group's 2012 album RIITIIR is its most progressive to date. This band has been pushing the boundaries of black metal ever since its 1994 debut album, Vikingligr Veldi. Its 12th album is also its longest. At five minutes and 26 seconds, the multi-tiered title track is the shortest song here. It balances elegantly haunting melodies and feral, demonic screaming without succumbing to obvious metalcore trappings. Meanwhile, the opening “Thoughts Like Hammers” drops listeners smack-dab in the middle of a metal maelstrom. After a typhoon of guitar feedback and relentless drum bludgeoning taper off, a doomy riff rises from the smoldering ashes; over this, Kjellson and Bjørnson do a Dr. Jekyll–and–Mr. Hyde call and response. With blast beats and ascending riffs intact, the band injects its Viking death metal with innovative arrangements that venture into the realm of classic prog rock. The closer is “Forsaken," an awe-inspiring epic that blasts past the 11-minute mark.

TITLE TIME
9:30
8:16
6:45
9:16
5:26
7:48
8:58
11:14

About Enslaved

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 (2012). There have been several personnel shifts, but the lineup has been consistent since 2004. As of 2012, its membership includes original members Bjørnson and Kjellson, along with guitarist Arve Isdal (aka Ice Dale), drummer Cato Bekkevold, and keyboardist/vocalist Herbrand Larsen. Issued by Nuclear Blast, the band's 13th album, In Times, was co-produced by the band and Iver Sandøy; it was mixed in Sweden by Jens Bogren and released globally in March of 2015. ~ Steve Huey

  • ORIGIN
    Bergen, Norway
  • FORMED
    1991

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