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Enslaved - Heimdal



8 | 398 votes |
Release date: 3 March 2023
Style: Progressive black metal

Owners:

149 have it
28 want it


Disc I
01. Behind The Mirror
02. Congelia
03. Forest Dweller
04. Kingdom
05. The Eternal Sea
06. Caravans To The Outer Worlds
07. Gangandi [bonus]
08. Heimdal

Disc II [The Otherworldly Big Band Experience Blu-Ray] [digipak bonus]
01. Ruun II - The Epitaph
02. Bounded By Allegiance
03. Sequence
04. Caravans To The Outer Worlds
05. Havenless
06. Slaget I Skogen Bortenfor
07. What Else Is There? [Röyksopp cover]
08. Hiindsiight

Line-up
Kjetil Tvedte Grutle - vocals, bass, additional synthesizers, additional FX, sequencer
Håkon Vinje - keyboards, clean vocals
Ivar Bjørnson Peersen - guitars, additional synthesizers, additional FX, sequencer
Arve Isdal - guitars
Iver Sandøy - drums, percussion, additional synthesizers, additional FX, sequencer

Guest musicians
Eilif Gundersen - horn
Jens Bogren - additional vocals

Holy words on Kingdom by Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson.

Voices on Heimdal: Sunneva Ø Peersen, Andrew Liles, Emi Horikawa, Tonje Elisabeth Storm Peerson, KiraKira Diaz Peralta, Maria Diaz Peralta, Katrine Stenbekk, Lukasz Worny, Magdalena Szymaniak, Claire Harris, Lisa Cope, Serena Cherry, Silje Wergeland, Michelle van Oorschot, Seb Bailly, Mélanie Duperrex, Alexander Milas, Simon Füllemann, Einar Selvik, Arild Gertz, Inger Sunneva Storm Peerson, Sonja Elisabeth Storm Peerson.

Additional info
Produced by Ivar Bjørnson Peersen, Iver Sandøy and Kjetil Tvedte Grutle

Staff review by
musclassia
Rating:
8.3
On their first album of the 2020s, Utgard, Enslaved made a break from the elaborate long-song prog that had dominated their 2010s output in favour of shorter, more compact, and arguably more accessible songs. If it were another band, perhaps one might have braced for subsequent simplification on future albums, but this is Enslaved we’re talking about, and Heimdal is absolutely not an extension of the trajectory Enslaved went in from E to Utgard.

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published 19.03.2023 | Comments (13)

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Comments

Comments: 33   Visited by: 900 users
18.11.2022 - 22:08
Rating: 9
Tuonelan
The two songs we have so far definitely have the feel of being more experimental and chaotic in the rawer moments (getting some Trinacria vibe off of "Congelia") while also having some trance elements in the more BardSpec electronic influence. Pretty excited to see how what sounds like pieces of those two side projects come together with the Monumension-meets-E feel of the rest of what I'm hearing.

It seems both familiar enough and yet still new enough for this to be another step forward, rather than a revisiting.
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Hopepunk living on a grimdark timeline
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19.11.2022 - 21:03
Rating: 7
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Always excited for a new Enslaved album.
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The sun shines over The Fool...
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03.03.2023 - 07:35
Rating: 8
Anghellic67
I've been interested and tried Enslaved many times but it still hasn't fully opened up to me. This new album sounds pretty exciting and experimental though, so maybe I'm finally starting to get it
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03.03.2023 - 17:00
Rating: 8
nonZero
Based on the quality of this album compared to others in Enslaved's discography, I think this will come down to around 8.2/10 once ~300 people have voted (which I agree with).

An enjoyable if somewhat messy release.
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03.03.2023 - 19:45
Rating: 9
Archie 666
Just finished listening to it and I am not expecting to listen to a better album this year.
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03.03.2023 - 22:35
Rating: 9
Chumb
Only beard it twice. This album feels deeper and more complex, than anythingthat they have done. Looking forward to the next tens of spins..
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03.03.2023 - 23:33
The Galactician
Very much enjoyed my first spin. There is a real space-jam drone thing going on in a few of these songs which works and sounds great.

I also hear quite a few variations on past themes and rifts, but hey, 16 albums and almost 30 years! The fact they still release such high quality stuff is amazing. A tiny bit of repetition isn’t a surprise and they still sound vibrant in spite of it.
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04.03.2023 - 05:49
Rating: 8
RoyBoy432
Dr. Quark
This is love.
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04.03.2023 - 09:21
Rating: 6
terroriser
I can't see any progress in their music. Another boring, but I have to admit, brilliantly produced album. Enslaved lost their teeth quite a while ago and went this boring route. I am always very excited hearing about new album but it ultimately leads to disappointment.

This album stands out due to complete and utter chaos some of the song are, making them really hard work to listen to.

And looking at the description of the band it says "progressive black metal" . I think Enslaved ceased to be black two albums ago. There is no black metal left in them at all.
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04.03.2023 - 11:03
Rating: 6
Nightmare^
It's a good album, well produced but nothing extraordinary, just like their previous 2 albums. I feel that Enslaved after 2017 have lost their "soul" and keep on producing music along a certain path/formula.

Seriously now, does anyone have a memorable riff from this one ore the previous 2 albums? Because I sure do have from all of their previous discography. Come on Enslaved, you can do better.

(By the way, following the band on FB/Insta, etc, I can't help but notice that they have fully emerged in the "commercial" of music. 100 studio updates, selling Videos for 5$, have they switched their music target to 16 year old hipsters? Which is something that IMO shows in their safe, trying-to-get a vintage sound without any memorable moments. These are just my thoughts, just wandering if anyone feels the same here.)
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04.03.2023 - 17:13
Rating: 6
terroriser
Written by Nightmare^ on 04.03.2023 at 11:03

It's a good album, well produced but nothing extraordinary, just like their previous 2 albums. I feel that Enslaved after 2017 have lost their "soul" and keep on producing music along a certain path/formula.

Seriously now, does anyone have a memorable riff from this one ore the previous 2 albums? Because I sure do have from all of their previous discography. Come on Enslaved, you can do better.

(By the way, following the band on FB/Insta, etc, I can't help but notice that they have fully emerged in the "commercial" of music. 100 studio updates, selling Videos for 5$, have they switched their music target to 16 year old hipsters? Which is something that IMO shows in their safe, trying-to-get a vintage sound without any memorable moments. These are just my thoughts, just wandering if anyone feels the same here.)




I think you nailed it. Its retirement fund for the band.
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05.03.2023 - 22:29
Rating: 6
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Contributor
As usual the musicianship quality is great, the clean vocals and drumming are especially well performed, but just like most of this bands later material, I struggle to find it exciting, and there really is nothing memorable about it.
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05.03.2023 - 23:58
Rating: 9
Tuonelan
Written by Nightmare^ on 04.03.2023 at 11:03

(By the way, following the band on FB/Insta, etc, I can't help but notice that they have fully emerged in the "commercial" of music. 100 studio updates, selling Videos for 5$, have they switched their music target to 16 year old hipsters? Which is something that IMO shows in their safe, trying-to-get a vintage sound without any memorable moments. These are just my thoughts, just wandering if anyone feels the same here.)


You did notice that whole pandemic thing that made it so bands had to find ways to supplement an uncertain financial picture with all the tour cancellations and venue problems, yes? Think that might have a bit to do with the band looking for ways to get paid for performing when touring just isn't practical.

Especially important when albums sell so few copies due to streaming, and when the bandmembers without writing credits make most of their money off of live performances.

Musicians gotta eat and pay bills.
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Hopepunk living on a grimdark timeline
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06.03.2023 - 01:41
Rating: 7
Vellichor
A lot of really good stuff on this album but an equal amount of very boring moments as well
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06.03.2023 - 03:44
Rating: 8
Uxküll
Can't wait to see them in April!
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06.03.2023 - 12:30
Rating: 9
Pavel_K
The opinions on this one seem to be pretty divided, to the point where sometimes it feels like people are listening to different records. Frankly, I don't find this album lacking in great ideas, nor do I see any signs of tiredness in the band. Their new material still gets me excited, and I still keep consistently coming back to all the previous CDs.
It's just that their songwriting approach doesn't rely on direct in-your-face catchiness and blaming them for failing to produce an immediate impact would, in my opinion, be akin to misunderstanding their purpose in the first place. Patience gets rewarded.
Am I seeing something that isn't there? Well, quite possibly. Maybe it's just a matter of personal resonance - boring music for boring people, etc. But I'm also really struggling to detect any tedious or 'nothing special' moments in Enslaved's music, everything just flows very seamlessly, to my taste.
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06.03.2023 - 18:27
Rating: 9
Tuonelan
Can't rate this album yet. There's just too much going on that demands time to settle in. It's conceptually vast and compositionally adventurous. In my first comment I compared it to Monumension and E, but listening to the whole thing puts me more in mind of Ruun just for sheer cosmic scope.

It's not going to get anything but a high rating from me. The question is whether it gels into something sublime or merely excellent, and it's too early to say.
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Hopepunk living on a grimdark timeline
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07.03.2023 - 02:30
Rating: 9
Chobo_jokeR
Written by Pavel_K on 06.03.2023 at 12:30

The opinions on this one seem to be pretty divided, to the point where sometimes it feels like people are listening to different records. Frankly, I don't find this album lacking in great ideas, nor do I see any signs of tiredness in the band. Their new material still gets me excited, and I still keep consistently coming back to all the previous CDs.
It's just that their songwriting approach doesn't rely on direct in-your-face catchiness and blaming them for failing to produce an immediate impact would, in my opinion, be akin to misunderstanding their purpose in the first place. Patience gets rewarded.
Am I seeing something that isn't there? Well, quite possibly. Maybe it's just a matter of personal resonance - boring music for boring people, etc. But I'm also really struggling to detect any tedious or 'nothing special' moments in Enslaved's music, everything just flows very seamlessly, to my taste.


Thank you for writing this post so I didn’t have to. Perhaps I’m just a fan boy, but I think this is yet another excellent album from Enslaved. For a band that has 16 albums in their catalogue and not a single bad one to their name… it’s incredibly impressive. My first encounter with them was Axioma Ethica Odini when it came out, and I’ve been on the Enslaved band wagon ever since. I didn’t love E when it first came out but I do think it’s excellent now. This album is the best since RIITIIR and dare I say AEO. It flows seamlessly and has plenty of interesting parts to it. I took the best of E and Utgard and turned out to be something special.

People complaining about them commercializing is pretty crazy to me. It’s not like they went In Flames and completely nutted and gutted their sound. Or went pulled an Opeth and dropped growls altogether. This is distinctly Enslaved and distinctly Excellent.
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07.03.2023 - 03:17
Rating: 7
Crème fraiche
This one feels more fresh and interesting to me than their last few albums. I think RIITIIR was the last one that really had an impact on me. There are some more melodic sections that are really mesmerizing to me and a few moments where it proceeds to then hurl you into a maelstrom. I definitely need to ruminate more and let this one simmer a bit longer.
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07.03.2023 - 07:56
Rating: 9
Pavel_K
Written by Chobo_jokeR on 07.03.2023 at 02:30

Thank you for writing this post so I didn’t have to. Perhaps I’m just a fan boy, but I think this is yet another excellent album from Enslaved. For a band that has 16 albums in their catalogue and not a single bad one to their name… it’s incredibly impressive. My first encounter with them was Axioma Ethica Odini when it came out, and I’ve been on the Enslaved band wagon ever since. I didn’t love E when it first came out but I do think it’s excellent now. This album is the best since RIITIIR and dare I say AEO. It flows seamlessly and has plenty of interesting parts to it. I took the best of E and Utgard and turned out to be something special.


Thank you for the kind words and for sharing your journey
A lot of familiar landmarks here, as I also got into the band around the Vertebrae/AEO era, and, what's more, I think that my experience with 'Utgard' was roughly the same as yours with 'E', as I went from moderately enjoying it to really falling in love a year later.
Sometimes their music can be a real grower, but I never doubted their honesty and integrity. The inspiration is definitely still there, I think they would be the first to notice if the spark were gone.
It seems like there's no winnig formula for such long running well established bands. Change too much? You sold out or became self indulgent. Change gradually? You've gone stale. Not implying that such criticism is always unjustified, yet it does miss the mark as often as not.
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07.03.2023 - 12:18
Rating: 8
musclassia
Staff
I always find it strange to see what bands get damned as selling out for very benign musical shifts. It happened with Opeth, who surely decided to go full prog rock not because of a longstanding appreciation for 70s prog rock (and specifically not 80s prog) or due to Akerfeldt's declining interest in/ability with growling, but because they wanted to chase the big bucks that retro prog rock were in 2011, because everyone remembers how much prog rock was clogging the Billboard charts at the time. Similarly, Enslaved are clearly cashing in on the current mainstream craze for weird prog metal that still has shrieks, rather than just maintaining the kind of gradual progression that has occurred pretty much since Monumension over 20 years ago. Like, if someone was going to call Leprous sellouts for the stark jump they made on Pitfalls, that would be one thing, even if I don't agree with it, but if this album can be called their retirement fund then there's scope to label almost anything as selling out, and that's such a depressingly cynical way of approaching music. And I see absolutely no issue with them producing content for sale - like, if you want bands to be able to tour and produce albums, there needs to be money produced to support these endeavours; there's not a tonne of jobs out there flexible enough to drop in and out of for months at a time that also pay well enough to fund travel between countries and continents on a daily or weekly basis.

Also, while this isn't pure black metal any more by any stretch of the imagination, there's more to this than just Kjellson's croaks that tethers it to their 2000s material IMO; the riffing and tonality on the likes of Congelia, Kingdom and The Eternal Sea have enough to them that I'm comfortable considering this blackened prog, even without raising obviously blackened material such as Jettegryta from Utgard.

As to how I feel about this album - on first listen, I think they've gone a bit indirect with some of their writing here compared with Utgard, as there's less here that feels immediately memorable in the way that multiple songs on that record did, but hopefully it's one that reveals itself over subsequent listens. It does feel a bit closer to an album like Vertebrae than their last couple have
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07.03.2023 - 17:33
Rating: 6
Nightmare^
Written by Tuonelan on 05.03.2023 at 23:58

Written by Nightmare^ on 04.03.2023 at 11:03

(By the way, following the band on FB/Insta, etc, I can't help but notice that they have fully emerged in the "commercial" of music. 100 studio updates, selling Videos for 5$, have they switched their music target to 16 year old hipsters? Which is something that IMO shows in their safe, trying-to-get a vintage sound without any memorable moments. These are just my thoughts, just wandering if anyone feels the same here.)


You did notice that whole pandemic thing that made it so bands had to find ways to supplement an uncertain financial picture with all the tour cancellations and venue problems, yes? Think that might have a bit to do with the band looking for ways to get paid for performing when touring just isn't practical.

Especially important when albums sell so few copies due to streaming, and when the bandmembers without writing credits make most of their money off of live performances.

Musicians gotta eat and pay bills.



Well you're right about all of that. I can't disagree with anything.

However I was being extremely particular here about Enslaved. I don't see any other band of this calibre doing that and in combination with three albums in a row (in my opinion at least) which are much weaker than their predecessors makes me think that Enslaved have taken a weird turn (not wrong per se), which I don't like.

What's next for them? Selling NTFs of Ivar's air guitar?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the band (or at least their previous music). I only find their current approach a bit forced/trying too much to seem inspired while they aren't. Example: HALF of this album was already released as singles or videos more than a year ago, it doesn't really sceam "we have new ideas".


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07.03.2023 - 19:52
Rating: 9
Tuonelan
Written by Nightmare^ on 07.03.2023 at 17:33

Well you're right about all of that. I can't disagree with anything.

However I was being extremely particular here about Enslaved. I don't see any other band of this calibre doing that and in combination with three albums in a row (in my opinion at least) which are much weaker than their predecessors makes me think that Enslaved have taken a weird turn (not wrong per se), which I don't like.

What's next for them? Selling NTFs of Ivar's air guitar?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the band (or at least their previous music). I only find their current approach a bit forced/trying too much to seem inspired while they aren't. Example: HALF of this album was already released as singles or videos more than a year ago, it doesn't really sceam "we have new ideas".



Yeah, and I love Maiden, but Enslaved are nowhere near Maiden's level of commercial success and settling into a musical legacy.

Enslaved seem to me to be a band interested in exploring a wide range of musical influences and a particular mythical worldview. If they have a fault on this album, it's being too expansive, not playing it too safe. I don't blame anyone for finding this latest album a bit too much of a sprawl. I just don't think any of that has anything to do with a lack of ideas or with a desire to be more commercial.

I don't see that as being linked in any way to their business sense. They could probably make more money touring their back catalog than they can releasing a new album.

I respect a band that has a 30 year career and don't have any problem with them (or Amorphis for another example) getting a little commercial success and security. I think they earned it and I'm glad they can still do what they love.
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Hopepunk living on a grimdark timeline
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11.03.2023 - 14:51
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I dont expect to hear anything as ''Blodhemn'' and before anymore, so I learned me to enjoy music what they offer. Not best , far from BM , but its more farer from rubish and suxers to. Ok album, I like artwork and more older you get more you understand somehow this music.
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11.03.2023 - 20:18
Jaro
Written by Nightmare^ on 04.03.2023 at 11:03

It's a good album, well produced but nothing extraordinary, just like their previous 2 albums. I feel that Enslaved after 2017 have lost their "soul" and keep on producing music along a certain path/formula.


Honestly, in my eyes they can do no wrong and are on another level than most bands in metal. Anything they put out always has such a high standard of performance and sure production too. Even if this album isn't like one of their best it still shits on most albums released in their niche IMO.
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26.03.2023 - 09:59
BCI
Written by Ace Frawley on 19.11.2022 at 21:03

Always excited for a new Enslaved album.

If a 7 excites you, does a 9 make you poop your pants? 🤔🤣💩
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26.03.2023 - 11:08
Redel
Moderator
Written by BCI on 26.03.2023 at 09:59

Written by Ace Frawley on 19.11.2022 at 21:03

Always excited for a new Enslaved album.

If a 7 excites you, does a 9 make you poop your pants? 🤔🤣💩

I suppose it is not the 7 that excites here because the excitement was in November last year, long before the album got released.
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27.03.2023 - 06:09
Rating: 10
mikeprado30
So many spectacular atmospheres in this one. I can understand the complainings of some people, but we should also understand bands like those guys are changing with every new release. At least in my case I feel the equilibrium between their Prog and Black sides is more perfected and polished than ever.
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27.03.2023 - 12:56
Rating: 7
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Written by Redel on 26.03.2023 at 11:08

Written by BCI on 26.03.2023 at 09:59

Written by Ace Frawley on 19.11.2022 at 21:03

Always excited for a new Enslaved album.

If a 7 excites you, does a 9 make you poop your pants? 🤔🤣💩

I suppose it is not the 7 that excites here because the excitement was in November last year, long before the album got released.

Good call, Redel, I think Morbid Angel 13 didn't notice the chronology of my comment in relation to the album release date. In relation to what makes me "poop my pants", I guess that would be something terrifying or life-threatening rather than enjoying an album a lot, lol.
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The sun shines over The Fool...
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03.04.2023 - 15:08
Rating: 6
Tom Muller
Ok standart album, lacks of inspirations and new ideas after "In Times"
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Can you see it
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