Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini review




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Reviewer:
9.5

758 users:
8.74
Band: Enslaved
Album: Axioma Ethica Odini
Release date: September 2010


01. Ethica Odini
02. Raidho
03. Waruun
04. The Beacon
05. Axioma
06. Giants
07. Singular
08. Night Sight
09. Lightening

[Limited Edition Bonus 7" Vinyl]
01. Jotunblod (Doom)
02. Migration


Let me tell you how I know that an album is hard to digest but great. When I put it on for the first time, most of the songs blur together, it's impossible to tell them apart. The first impression about the album is accentuated by those cool fragments of songs that remain in my memory. During the second listen I manage to hear most of those fragments. Just when I'm about to play the album for the third time to get those last cool bits, I realise that there are some more cool bits that I picked up during my second listen. With every consecutive listen, the number of cool bits increases, and my mind connects them to respective songs. After 10 listens all bits are in place, the picture is complete and my smile is wider than a six-lane freeway, because the album is brilliant.

This is exactly the case with Axioma Ethica Odini. With every listen you will discover a new gem of a song. You will encounter a new, surprising time signature. You will be amazed by another mood shift, keyboard part, vocal line, or labyrinthine progression of riffs within a single song. "Ethica Odini" will keep you enchanted with its catchy, yet wonderfully convoluted chorus and ominous keyboards, creeping just underneath the guitars. "Singular" will enthrall you with its ever-shifting time signatures and seduce you with a psychedelic guitar passage and eerie vocals that come about six minutes into the song. You will be captivated by the majestic beginning of "Giants," slowly thickening, sinister buildup to the madness of "Waruun," or the mellow beginning of "Night Sight". Finally, "Lightening" will bring you to your knees - this is the most progressive and ambitious song Enslaved have ever written. Let me also add that it's their best song to date.

Enslaved's journey to greatness has had, so far, two highest points: Below the Lights and Isa. Ruun and Vertebrae developed concepts first mastered on Isa, at the cost of abandoning some of the band's root values - musical heaviness and aggression. Excellent as they are, the previous two releases display a somewhat tenderer side of Enslaved. Axioma Ethica Odini successfully alloys the old style with the new direction. Enslaved sounds angry and heavy like 15 years ago, but at the same time they're more progressive than ever. Keyboards work stealthily, yet steadily, lending the songs majestic depth. Sparsely, but wisely used clean vocals break the wall of sound with intriguing, haunting melodies. Unique guitar style permeates all riffs, imbuing them with a peculiar oddity that only Enslaved possesses. This album is a perfect connection between the old and the new Enslaved. It's also a perfect stepping stone to an even more stellar career.

The beginning of the 1990's brought us plenty of excellent black metal bands: Mayhem, Enslaved, Emperor, Satyricon, Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal, to name just the essential classic few who defined black metal for at least two decades. Some of them ceased to be, some of them are still active. But out of all those that are around, Enslaved stands as THE major force. Not only in black metal, but extreme metal in general. The bravest, the most creative and inventive. The closest to what very few are privileged to achieve - musical immortality.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9


 



Written on 30.09.2010 by Writes overly honest and totally subjective reviews when fancy strikes him. Which is not often. Which is probably good, all things considered.

Guest review by
ponderer
Rating:
2.9
Here we are again. I say that because Enslaved are beating the proverbial "Nordic Black Metal" horse to death. It seems like this is becoming a standard out of the Northern European Black Metal scene these days. Scary makeup, growling vocals, droning guitars, and a complete lack of direction other than to throw in some "evil" lyrics. Like anyone will ever go as far as Mercyful Fate did in the 80's lyrically? Doubtful, and I haven't seen anyone do it yet.

Read more ››
published 12.12.2010 | Comments (123)

Guest review by
Metren
Rating:
7.0
It is almost certainly true that in each professional musician's life - if they are passionate and serious about their art - comes a point, when they become almost too good at what they do and the result is an album that doesn't take very many risks or doesn't include any truly mind-blowing melodies, riffs, solos, etc. For Enslaved, that point of becoming too good to take risks came with 2010's Axioma Ethica Odini.

Few albums will impress as highly on the first listen as this one, but that's not necessarily a good thing when it comes to (extreme) metal. An initial reaction of "I don't quite get it yet, but it's interesting" holds much more promise of an album becoming a true classic than does "OMG! This is awesome!"

Read more ››
published 20.08.2016 | Comments (24)


Comments page 3 / 3

Comments: 70   Visited by: 724 users
04.03.2011 - 22:32
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Guest on 04.03.2011 at 22:15

As a person who's never been able to get into black metal, I am enjoying this much more than I thought I would. The atmosphere is great on this album and the comparisons to Opeth that I've read are actually really rather appropriate. Wow, it seems I might be getting into black metal after all. Damn good album.

I more or less got into black metal with Enslaved's 'Isa' 6 or 7 years ago. Isa does have an unbeaten status for me, but this record is nipping at its heels in quality, though it is a bit different. I'm growing out of black metal though now it seems.
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04.03.2011 - 22:41
ErnilEnNaur
Account deleted
Written by Guest on 04.03.2011 at 22:32

I more or less got into black metal with Enslaved's 'Isa' 6 or 7 years ago. Isa does have an unbeaten status for me, but this record is nipping at its heels in quality, though it is a bit different. I'm growing out of black metal though now it seems.


Haven't listened to "Isa", but I am loving AEO more and more every second. I really didn't expect this kind of atmosphere and sound from a black metal band, they sound completely different from what I was afraid to get, in a good way. I've never grown out of any genre of metal though, I don't think I am capable of that. It all started with symphonic metal for me, then came industrial, death, power, heavy, prog, folk and everything else and now thanks to Enslaved, it seems the list is almost complete for me. Actually, I've always like Bal-Sagoth a lot, but I consider them more of a symphonic metal band than a black metal band.
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04.03.2011 - 23:27
Slayer666
Written by Guest on 04.03.2011 at 22:15

As a person who's never been able to get into black metal, I am enjoying this much more than I thought I would. The atmosphere is great on this album and the comparisons to Opeth that I've read are actually really rather appropriate. Wow, it seems I might be getting into black metal after all. Damn good album.

OK, I hope I won't get flamed by the MS community here, but I feel like putting AEO into black metal category (with no prefixes) is not completely right. Sure, there is a ton of black metal influences here, but to me it feels like the most important feature of black metal, which is to say its cold, hateful atmosphere and the overall negative, pessimistic feel is missing. Tracks like "Ethica Odini", "Lightning" and others are too damn uplifting, almost fit for a sing-along. You don't get that in BM.
I don't know, that's just me, I guess I'm the weird one...
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04.03.2011 - 23:56
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
There's no hate on this album. Enslaved haven't had hate in longer than I can remember (if they ever had).

Black metal isn't even about that kind of thing anymore. Some may try to perpetuate that old ideal but darkness gets boring pretty soon.

A more informed, less alcohol fueled response tomorrow perhaps.
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05.03.2011 - 01:08
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Slayer666 on 04.03.2011 at 23:27

OK, I hope I won't get flamed by the MS community here, but I feel like putting AEO into black metal category (with no prefixes) is not completely right. Sure, there is a ton of black metal influences here, but to me it feels like the most important feature of black metal, which is to say its cold, hateful atmosphere and the overall negative, pessimistic feel is missing. Tracks like "Ethica Odini", "Lightning" and others are too damn uplifting, almost fit for a sing-along. You don't get that in BM.
I don't know, that's just me, I guess I'm the weird one...

Might be called out as being elitist here, but I'm in partial agreement. Enslaved, to me, do not represent pure black metal. They bring a lot of nice progressive elements to their sound, but the atmosphere on a lot of their releases is totally unfitting for what I would define as a black metal album. I wouldn't call it uplifting or fit for sing-along, but it's definitely accessible and almost too far removed from the roots of the genre for me to think of it restrictively as black metal. It's like extreme progressive, a la Ihsahn.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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06.03.2011 - 10:08
Slayer666
Written by Troy Killjoy on 05.03.2011 at 01:08

Might be called out as being elitist here

Why? It's not elitism, just a fact.

Quote:

It's like extreme progressive, a la Ihsahn.

Ah, yeah, I was strugling find a propper name for this style, but extreme progressive nails it.
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05.10.2011 - 23:48
Frost Beast
Account deleted
Written by InnerSelf on 07.10.2010 at 12:26

highly addictive

No mistake there, my friend.
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15.01.2012 - 02:33
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Very well written review. I definitely agree with you that it's an album that grows on you the more you listen to it, and I love albums like that: where each time you listen, you notice something you didn't before. Shows that a band put a lot of thought into composition.
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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05.09.2012 - 11:24
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Thanks, this is a really good review. I feel the same way about discovering new bits with each listen. To me, that is the hallmark of a really good album because the songs are complex and interesting. A very talented group of musicians.
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The sun shines over The Fool...
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19.01.2015 - 20:16
flightoficarus
Stamp Tramp
Great review, great album.
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Daily underground metal recommendations at Metal Trenches.
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