Rating:
9.0
Enslaved - RIITIIR
28 September 2012


Disc I
01. Thoughts Like Hammers
02. Death In The Eyes Of Dawn
03. Veilburner
04. Roots Of The Mountain
05. Riitiir
06. Materal
07. Storm Of Memories
08. Forsaken

Disc II [limited edition]
+ Behind The Veil


From Viking-tinged black metal band to progressive super-heavyweights, Enslaved have constantly evolved with each release. RIITIIR continues the path of progression as it tackles the near-impossible task of following on from their 2010 masterpiece.

A mightily chunky riff leads us into the album at a steady pace, but it isn't long before the latest evolutionary step becomes apparent in the form of longer, more dynamic, more progressive psalms of extreme metal. RIITIIR is epic. Enslaved own the ambience with their hypnotic, landscaping riffs and excellent musicianship; be it an amazing, well-placed guitar solo or contrasting harsh and clean vocals. RIITIIR is an album to become truly absorbed into with such depth and fine detail on offer; in these progressive aspects the band have out-done themselves once more.

The album is so dense however, that RIITIIR is not an album that can be easily enjoyed to its fullest potential. The album is not as initially captivating as Axioma Ethica Odini, and can at first feel a little estranged or even alienating as it meanders from hymn to hymn. Enslaved have really thought outside of the box with this one, resulting in an album that is initially a challenge to digest - but given time does become clear.

RIITIIR has so many layers to explore, perhaps intimidatingly so at first, but once the layers begin to unravel we are presented with an amazingly dynamic, sonic experience well worth the time. The nature of RIITIIR might not make it as readily apparent, but it is as equally enthralling as the previous album with far more depth and detail. Perhaps alienating to some, but in this progressive vein Enslaved have become one of the finest talents, if not the finest in the field.

Unfathomably the band have created another majestic artwork of music. This one might take a little more time to digest and understand, but the evolution of Enslaved continues only into wonderful places.

-

Extreme Progressive metal
Nuclear Blast
Norway
Length: 1:07:13

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Enslaved
Album: RIITIIR


 



Written on 26.09.2012 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››



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Fredd - 26.09.2012 at 22:15  
YES YES YES GODDAMMIT!
Mr. Doctor - 26.09.2012 at 22:20  
In days like these... I miss ponderer.
Protostar - 26.09.2012 at 22:47  
I've only recently discovered this band and as of right now I'm not in love with them. However as with any band that has talent, whether I enjoy them to their fullest or not I can appreciate talent and talent these guys have. I'll definitly be looking into this album, especially with a 9.0 rating O____o.
BitterCOld - 26.09.2012 at 23:02  
Looking forward to getting this myself. too bad we don't get a copy on this side of the pond for another week and change... the review has me intrigued moreso than i might have been fearing a bit of a let down from AEO.
tea[m]ster - 26.09.2012 at 23:31  
Looking forward to this one. I hope I like it as much as the reviewer; This band creates very entertaining and interesting music for my tastes...
DelightfulJim - 27.09.2012 at 00:44  
Want this album now.
Grody2themax - 27.09.2012 at 03:51  
Written by Protostar on 26.09.2012 at 22:47

I've only recently discovered this band and as of right now I'm not in love with them. However as with any band that has talent, whether I enjoy them to their fullest or not I can appreciate talent and talent these guys have. I'll definitly be looking into this album, especially with a 9.0 rating O____o.


If someone wrote the most technically challenging and (music) theoretically complex piece, but it sounded like the audio equivalent of feces, would you appreciate it?

I wouldn't, but Enslaved is actually a great band to listen to. I'd give 'em some time if I were you. Axioma Ethica Odini or Isa are probably good ones to start out with, or if you like raw, old school black metal, their first few albums are about as good as it gets.
M C Vice - 27.09.2012 at 06:02  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 26.09.2012 at 22:20

In days like these... I miss ponderer.

Yeah. Now who's gonna say this sounds just like Gorgoroth?
Unhealer - 27.09.2012 at 06:30  
WARRRGH give it to meeeeeh.
Thank god this album will be pressed in my country.
-DC-002- - 27.09.2012 at 07:35  
Damn I forgot this existed. I guess it made the wait that much easier though.
Ace Frawley - 27.09.2012 at 11:34  
I'm excited about getting this album. I'm quite new to Enslaved, having only been introduced to them recently when I got Axioma Ethica Odini and boy did that blow me away. Brilliant! Probably the best album I've heard in a few years. Very excited to hear you say in the review that this new album is "equally enthralling as the previous album with far more depth and detail" and "the band have created another majestic artwork of music".
Lit. - 27.09.2012 at 14:50  
...Nope, still seeing Pearl Jam in the cover.
Ace Frawley - 27.09.2012 at 15:03  
Written by Lit. on 27.09.2012 at 14:50

...Nope, still seeing Pearl Jam in the cover.


hehe, I don't like the cover either. I agree there is a resemblance to the cover of Ten by Pearl Jam.
Protostar - 27.09.2012 at 22:30  
Written by Grody2themax on 27.09.2012 at 03:51


If someone wrote the most technically challenging and (music) theoretically complex piece, but it sounded like the audio equivalent of feces, would you appreciate it?

I wouldn't, but Enslaved is actually a great band to listen to. I'd give 'em some time if I were you. Axioma Ethica Odini or Isa are probably good ones to start out with, or if you like raw, old school black metal, their first few albums are about as good as it gets.


This is true, and as much as I appreciate the sound of a well brought up fart, I probably wouldn't appreciate an orchestra of it .

I have been giving them some time, what brought them to my attention was my interest in Insomnium recently. I found a link to an Enslaved video on youtube and loved his vocals, which I hear is what most people hate \ :
Anyway, I'll check out some more of their work. Maybe I'll get a little more comfortable with'm ( :
Valaskjalf - 27.09.2012 at 23:16  
Dont read too much into the rating children...Baz hardly gives anything less than 9.
Risto - 27.09.2012 at 23:21  
I was thinking of buying this tomorrow but they failed to impress me with the two tracks they've released so far, have to hear the entire album in advance. Axioma Ethica Odini is just that good to make me consider.
Ace Frawley - 28.09.2012 at 00:57  
Written by Valaskjalf on 27.09.2012 at 23:16

Dont read too much into the rating children...Baz hardly gives anything less than 9.


I thought this was an interesting comment, so I had a look at a list of the reviews that Baz has done and your comment just isn't true. You'd make a good politician.
!J.O.O.E.! - 28.09.2012 at 01:30  
Written by Ace Frawley on 28.09.2012 at 00:57


I thought this was an interesting comment, so I had a look at a list of the reviews that Baz has done and your comment just isn't true. You'd make a good politician.

With respect to both parties involved, Baz is somewhat of an over-rater Just have a look at his personal scores
Baz Anderson - 28.09.2012 at 01:48  
My album ratings are nothing to do with my review ratings. These are the important ones.
!J.O.O.E.! - 28.09.2012 at 02:09  
I'd still say you slightly over-inflate scores in reviews too. There just aren't as many 8 / 8.5 / 9 worthy albums as your reviews suggest, specifically of the kind of music you review
Mattybu - 28.09.2012 at 06:07  
Sometimes he is really spot on with the higher ratings though. Baz don't give a fuck. He backs up what he has to say too, and it's all opinions and shit anyways so really reviews are just reviews.
Grody2themax - 28.09.2012 at 07:05  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 28.09.2012 at 02:09

I'd still say you slightly over-inflate scores in reviews too. There just aren't as many 8 / 8.5 / 9 worthy albums as your reviews suggest, specifically of the kind of music you review


Terms such as performance, songwriting, production, originality, "overall rating", good, very good, excellent, and perfect can be deeply ambiguous to the listener and the genre.

Nothing wrong with over-inflating scores either. When I'm 40 I'll probably listen to albums and not get that excited over it. I doubt much would bring to me rate something an 8. I like the feeling of liking music, a lot, if you know what I mean.
Ace Frawley - 28.09.2012 at 10:32  
Written by Grody2themax on 28.09.2012 at 07:05

When I'm 40 I'll probably listen to albums and not get that excited over it. I doubt much would bring to me rate something an 8. I like the feeling of liking music, a lot, if you know what I mean.


I'm almost forty and still getting excited over music and I'm sometimes even giving ratings over 8. Hopefully you'll be the same when you get to this age.
Daniell - 28.09.2012 at 12:25  
You people pay too much attention to other people's ratings.

What is a 10 to you and what is a 10 to me? Some people have given like five 10's to albums in their entire lives and treat those albums like untouchable shrines. And they seem to hint that they won't give another 10 again, or that it's nearly impossible.
On the other hand, I see a 10 as a sign that an album gave me lots of fun and pleasure. It's exceptionally memorable, it stands out among loads of albums in the genre/in a year/whatever. In other words, I feel that this is a perfect album for the time. I don't try to present a comprehensive outlook on metal in general and put a 10 in such a context, weighing the pros and cons and the ramifications of my decision. I'm not judging here, my point of view is as good as the next man's.

In other words, don't be so serious about ratings
Nightfall - 28.09.2012 at 13:48  
Written by Daniell on 28.09.2012 at 12:25

You people pay too much attention to other people's ratings.

What is a 10 to you and what is a 10 to me? Some people have given like five 10's to albums in their entire lives and treat those albums like untouchable shrines. And they seem to hint that they won't give another 10 again, or that it's nearly impossible.
On the other hand, I see a 10 as a sign that an album gave me lots of fun and pleasure. It's exceptionally memorable, it stands out among loads of albums in the genre/in a year/whatever. In other words, I feel that this is a perfect album for the time. I don't try to present a comprehensive outlook on metal in general and put a 10 in such a context, weighing the pros and cons and the ramifications of my decision. I'm not judging here, my point of view is as good as the next man's.

In other words, don't be so serious about ratings


Agreed. A rating is only an opinion, and there's nothing written when it comes to opinion. The average rating might put things into perspective, but again, what matters is your personal view on it.
!J.O.O.E.! - 28.09.2012 at 13:58  
Written by Nightfall on 28.09.2012 at 13:48


Agreed. A rating is only an opinion, and there's nothing written when it comes to opinion. The average rating might put things into perspective, but again, what matters is your personal view on it.

A review is an opinion, a rating is an arbitrary representation of that opinion Why I think staff reviews and reviews in general are better off without them.
Nightfall - 28.09.2012 at 14:48  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 28.09.2012 at 13:58

Written by Nightfall on 28.09.2012 at 13:48


Agreed. A rating is only an opinion, and there's nothing written when it comes to opinion. The average rating might put things into perspective, but again, what matters is your personal view on it.

(...) Why I think staff reviews and reviews in general are better off without them.


In that sense I agree with you as well. Everything would be better with less numbers and more words. In many cases I found myself ignoring a particular album because I deemed the rating too low and I thought it wouldn't be worth the listen (considering there are better works in the same sub-genre) but given the chance I ended liking it more than some praised stuff. I have been trying to not bias myself on average ratings, but since I'm relatively new to metal I found other's opinions a good starting point.
Alex Fenger - 28.09.2012 at 18:44  
If you actually read Baz's reviews you can see that he doesn't really over-rate things, except with the score. His reviews are pretty varied from good to bad, and who cares what is average album score is? Nice review and another great album from Enslaved
Valentin B - 29.09.2012 at 02:01  
"Landscaping riffs" - Never listened to Enslaved, but this I gotta hear!
PePe - 29.09.2012 at 02:02  
Masterpiece!!
neonxaos - 29.09.2012 at 02:06  
I have only heard two minutes of Thoughts Like Hammers, and I am already in love.
IronAngel - 29.09.2012 at 12:33  
I like the clean vocals here better than on Axioma, I think. They sound more effortless and free, as opposed to the somewhat strained approach on the predecessor. First listen in, so I can't really say much more.
Daniell - 29.09.2012 at 17:10  
I've listened to the album 2 times so far. It requires a lot more listens. Definitely a lot harder to get into than Axioma.
chthonianlakes - 29.09.2012 at 19:40  
Enslaved never disappoints. They have a knack for creating easy listening metal that excites at every turn. I first saw them open for Opeth in 2009 while they were touring Vertebrae; I have been hooked ever since.
-DC-002- - 02.10.2012 at 07:59  
I'm really liking Death in the Eyes of Dawn and the other tracks are growing on me too. I think I like the more subtle approach to this album, it reminds me of Moonsorrow in how some of it's riffs transition fluently. Some things sound awkward and meandering at first but it seems to make more sense with every listen. I don't think this stands up to albums like Ruun or Vertabrae, to me the best part of Enslaved has happened already but they are good at making music and this album is a pleasure to listen to more or less.
Oaken - 08.10.2012 at 15:35  
I usually dislike genres with the word Technical or Progressive, but there are some exceptions, and Enslaved is one of them. This album is extremely varied, it blends black metal textures with unusual time signatures and even some oriental touches like in "Death In The Eyes Of Dawn". The atmosphere is bone-chilling, and the instrumentation is very tight and well-performed, but it's in the clean vocals where this album shines brightly. Last time I've listened to Axioma was last year, but as I recall, I think the vocals improved a lot.
Philly_Boy - 09.10.2012 at 19:13  
These are the best songs progressions I've heard since Starless from King Crimson
Reverend X - 11.10.2012 at 01:53  
It didn't quite satisfy my expectations. But good effort though.
Merchant of Doom - 12.10.2012 at 18:55  
Roots of the Mountain is just EPIC.
Ace Frawley - 13.10.2012 at 00:48  
Written by Philly_Boy on 09.10.2012 at 19:13

These are the best songs progressions I've heard since Starless from King Crimson


Wow, that's going back a bit! I think this is definitely a PROG ROCK album though.
psychoticone - 13.10.2012 at 23:15  
It's definitely good follower of previous release. The musicanship is better than ever, certainly worth these couple of hours to get through all layers of this album. But progression is about progress and they should move on in the future. Anyway i'm ok with this album even it's exactly what I expected. No suprices, just piece of good work.
Daniell - 17.10.2012 at 14:14  
Written by psychoticone on 13.10.2012 at 23:15

No suprices, just piece of good work.


"Forsaken" is definitely something surprising. And, seeing as it's placed as the last song, I suspect that it could be a hint about Enslaved's propensity for progress.
SWAMPL0RD - 24.10.2012 at 08:28  
Dude i don't know if i'm missing the ball or something but this album is boring. Oh well
s_t_s - 26.12.2012 at 15:20  
Enslaved have such unique style, every album is a thick piece of vking/black art. I love this one as much as I love their other albums (need to buy Vertebrae sometimes, why did I miss this one ?)
innn - 09.03.2013 at 08:56  
Is not good at all I've just listened to it last week
I don't get all the rave , let alone the rating this got here all I heard was something boring , monotony in long pieces that every other calls 'epic'.
let me tell you that I do not hold in any respect this album that sounded in almost every of its songs like a porcupine tree rip-off
if a song had 10 minutes length I invariably struggled not falling asleep in the middle fighting the sleep hard just to catch what can this music say to me
and I say all these disclaiming my sympathy for Porcupine Tree.
F.N.S.C.A.C - 08.04.2013 at 19:36  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 26.09.2012 at 22:20

In days like these... I miss ponderer.


I didn't understand this until I did some research. I then found ponderer and did rejoice for many days. I now agree, let us bring him back somehow.

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