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Release date: 26 September 2008
Style: Progressive black metal


8.4 | 415 votes


515 have it
47 want it
2 trade it

Disc I
01. Clouds
02. To The Coast
03. Ground
04. Vertebrae
05. New Dawn
06. Reflection
07. Center
08. The Watcher

Disc II [Limited edition - Live At The Rock Hard Festival, Germany, 2008]
01. Path To Vanir [live]
02. Fusion Of Sense And Earth [live]
03. Bounded By Allegiance [live]
04. Violet Dawning [live]
05. As Fire Swept Clean The Earth [live]
06. Isa [live]
07. Return To Yggdrasil [live]
08. Ruun [live]

Lyrics (8)

Ivar Bjørnson Peersen - guitars
Grutle Kjellson - vocals, bass
Herbrand Larsen - keyboards, organ, vocals
Cato Bekkevold - drums
Arve "Ice Dale" Isdal - guitars

Session musicians
Ronni Le Tekrø - guitar solo
Johnny Skalleberg - effects

Additional info
Mixed by Evil Joe Barresi at Studio Studio - Toten, Norway.
Produced by Ivar Bjørnson, Herbrand Larsen and Grutle Kjellson.
Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound - New York (NY), US.
Recorded at:
Propeller Music Division - Oslo, Norway. Engineered by Mike Hartung;
Amper Tone Studios - Oslo, Norway. Engineered by Johnny Skalleberg;
Earshot Studios - Bergen, Norway. Engineered by Herbrand Larsen and Ice Dale;
Peersonal Sound - Bergen, Norway. Engineered by Ivar Bjørnson.

Artwork by Truls Espedal.

Limited edition bonus CD recorded at Rock Hard Festival in May 10th 2008 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
Live production by Holger Stratmann and Hannes Jaeckl.
Mixed and mastered by Børge Finstad at Toproom Studio.

Guest review by

In the not too distant past, if you had asked me about Enslaved, I may well have got them confused with any number of bands starting with "En". Enthroned, Ensiferum, 'N Sync… well not the last one thankfully, but I certainly wouldn't have been able to tell you much about them, least of all what they sounded like. But then I found myself reading an "Albums of The Year" list in that self-proclaimed paragon of "True Cult Heavy Metal", Terrorizer magazine. Vertebrae came top. One figured it couldn't be total crap, right?

published 06.01.2012 | Comments (12)

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Comments: 16  
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advent - 25.01.2010 at 14:51  
Rating: 9 This is a decent album that deserves decent review.....beside it was MS pick for 2008

i guess that any MS pick must have a review..specially if it is a good album???
tea[m]ster - 12.07.2010 at 22:59  
Rating: 9 I really like this album, great mix of harsh & clean vocals, the music has its heavy moments but enough prog to keep my attention!
!J.O.O.E.! - 18.09.2010 at 18:17  
  Yeah it's odd this never received a review.
SODOM666 - 30.08.2011 at 07:59  
Rating: 7 I had more trouble getting into this record than their previous releases.
Night Sight - 27.10.2011 at 23:00  
  I recently got this album and all i just can say it's great.not as great as ruun but i still enjoy it.
Ace Frawley - 19.07.2013 at 06:07  
Rating: 8 I think there is a subtle brilliance to this album. It took me awhile to get into it, but after about half a dozen listens, it all clicked into place and it was magical. Standout tracks for me are the title track, "New Dawn" and "Reflection". They are just amazing compositions. I keep saying it, but these guys are musical freaks and certainly at the forefront of modern progressive metal. The only negative comment I will make, and it's only minor, is that one track sounds a bit too much like Pink Floyd and another like Tool. I guess those two bands have been big influences for Enslaved.

Addendum: will add "The Watcher" as a standout track as well. Just brilliant and great live when I saw them in Sydney. It also has a cool video clip.
NocturnalStalker - 03.02.2014 at 17:31  
Rating: 8 Good album. Maybe even very good, but still compared to its two predecessors and its follow-ups it doesn't sound as captivating to my ears...
Jaeryd - 28.04.2014 at 20:16  
Rating: 9 I really love To the Coast and Center--To the Coast makes me feel like I'm riding the ocean waves on a viking longship, and Center puts me right in the middle of an ancient temple of mystics and shamans--but the entire album sounds pretty magical to me. I love it.

Apparently I seem to like different parts of Enslaved than other people, 'cause I found this album more enjoyable than Axioma Ethica Odini.
musicalkaratekid - 22.09.2014 at 16:09  
Rating: 7 Out of Enslaved's last five albums, this is for me the weakest of the lot. It's not the weakest by much however, given that there are still many creative songs to choose from, the best of which in my opinion being "Clouds", the title track and "The Watcher". What made me lower the rating is how sometimes there seems to be much more emphasis on atmosphere more than anything else, and whilst that works to the band's advantage for the most part, it makes songs such as "New Dawn" and "Center" mediocre in places. Still a generally great album though.
flightoficarus - 19.01.2015 at 19:16  
Rating: 6 Boooooooooooring. Aside from the solo in "Ground" and some of "New Dawn," there is nothing of note here. Probably their worst album. Not horrible, just freakin' dull.
Joe Zombie - 27.01.2015 at 01:41  
  I remember listening to this album years ago, and enjoying it very much, so I decided to give it another listen recently. Unfortunately it wasn't nearly as good as I had remembered it. A solid record nonetheless. Favorite tracks: Reflection, The Watcher.
tea[m]ster - 27.01.2015 at 02:37  
Rating: 9 This is my first and favorite album from them.
Jaeryd - 09.03.2015 at 20:01  
Rating: 9 I like this album way more than this album deserves. "Center" just blows me away every time, and while I find "The Watcher" to be a sub-par track on it's own, it just works so damn well as an album closer.

To tell the truth, most of these songs are actually quite boring on their own, but for some reason, when they're all listened to as a whole album, they somehow work together and strengthen each other. Odd, because this is not a concept album, and the songs don't flow or transition seamlessly in any particularly remarkable way, but all the same, the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.

I can tell why other people don't really care for this album that much, but... I don't know, it just seems to work really well for me.
Arcanewind - 06.09.2015 at 12:17  
Written by Jaeryd on 09.03.2015 at 20:01

I like this album way more than this album deserves. "Center" just blows me away every time

"Center" is probably the only song that comes close to stealing "Lightening's" title of my favorite ever Enslaved song. Just as with you, that song simply blows me away.
Warman - 06.09.2015 at 12:41  
Rating: 7 I should like this album more than I do. It is a good album, but it should be great. Don't know why though. I like the concept, I like the style. Probably a lack of memorable songs.
musclassia - 20.09.2015 at 17:46  
Rating: 8 Like RIITIIR, I think people perhaps slightly underestimate this album, probably because how strong the few albums before and one immediately after are, but I like the more proggy nature and slightly softer feel of it, it makes it stand out from the other albums. "Clouds", "Ground" and "Center" are all really strong songs with some super-pleasant lead guitars and solos on them, and there's a fair few moments that actually make the 'Black Floyd' tag sound reasonable

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