Enslaved – Ruun (CD)

In the last sixteen years, Enslaved has been a busy band. “Ruun” uis their tenth album in this span, and the disc’s first track “Entroper” shows that the band is not any worse from wear even after all these years. The extended instrumental opening during the track (it tops out at over a minute) allows the band to sink their claws into listeners’ minds.

The screeched out vocals that present themselves soon after do not perfectly jive with what preceded them instrumentally, but work well with the shrill guitars that become the hallmark of tracks like “Entroper”. The one thing that individuals will immediately recognize about Enslaved is that the tracks on “Ruun” all feel as if they are two or three minutes, even though a number of the songs here are well over five minutes. The production on “Ruun” is interesting as it allows the brashness of the band to shine through. What happens with “Ruun” is thus the equivalent to a painter showing a distressed look to a paint job. It is in reality perfect, but it has the style of being worn and familiar. During “Path to Venir”, Enslaved ius much more deliberate with their compositions, allowing the band to lasso listeners’ hearts and drag them in a way that is not incongruous with acts like HIM. Of course, Enslaved is much harder and more experienced than HIM, but I believe that the comparison holds.

When the band moves into a thrashier style of metal, as is the case during a song like “Fusion of Sense and Earth”, the band is able to get individuals even more excited in the disc and this excitement locks listeners in for the rest of the disc. The disc may only have eight tracks but these songs taken together creates a runtime that is over that of most bands on the market today. Enslaved have not slowed up a step during their run at the top of the metal scene. The songs may be more solid as a whole, but they have not lost any of ferocity that first distinguished the band from so many others trying to make it big at the same time. There are enough nods to different styles of metal and rock on this disc so that pretty much any fan of hard rock can find something to like on this disc, but the band does not ever lose their own sound during these experiments.

Top Tracks: Ruun, Path to Vanir

Rating: 6.4/10

Enslaved – Ruun / 2006 Candlelight / 8 Tracks / http://www.enslaved.no / http://www.candlelightrecordsusa.com / Reviewed 05 September 2006


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