Enslaved - Vikingligr Veldi review
|Release date:||February 1994|
01. Lifandi Lif Undir Hamri (Living Beneath The Hammer)
02. Vetrarnótt (A Winter's Night)
03. Midgards Elder (Fires Of Midgard)
I feel that it is my duty to write a review for this album, because this is the album that pretty much got me into Black Metal. Also, I find Enslaved to be the band which managed to fuse Viking metal with Black metal in a very interesting, and 'different' way. First of all lyrically. How come? Well they are one of the rare bands who don't contradict themselves with being both pagan and satanic. They have also changed their style a lot during the years in a sense that they mixed a lot of progressive elements into their music, but they did that in a good way.
As for the album: up to this day I find it to be their best. The opening track 'Lifandi Lif Undir Hamri' kicks of with a subtle keyboard line which creates a mystical atmosphere that does not disappear even when the guitars and drums start to produce thunder. This track along with 'Vertrarnott', is definitely the highlight of this amazing album.
The atmosphere never fades throughout the whole album. It is constantly kept alive using mostly simplistic riffs followed by keyboards whose sound is strategically placed throughout the tracks. The production of the album is pretty much according to any black metaller's liking. It's not too 'kvlt' though, and you will only have problems regarding the production if you use headphones while listening to this album.
Considering that Enslaved's style changed to progressive black metal during the years, and the shortest track on this album is 6 minutes long (the others are around 10-11 minutes long) you would expect the riffs in this album to be somewhat progressive. That is not the case. The riffs can sometimes be so damn repetitive that it drives the listener crazy and I consider that to be the main flaw of this album.
The breakdowns are all done in the same way. After a violent blastbeat, the music suddenly stops, leaving all instruments but one guitar, silent, and this can also be annoying. The remaining guitar manages to deliver interesting riffs using specific intervals that make the music sound more 'spooky' so to speak, and Grutle's imaginative bass lines get the track back on it's feet.
To sum it all up, this album is a great piece of Black Metal that any true BM fan should have on his CD shelf or...wherever.
Oh, and, if you have a herd of sheep, don't even think about illegally downloading this album.
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