Enslaved release free EP titled The Sleeping Gods

As part of the influential second wave of black metal bands that emerged from Norway in the early 1990s, Enslaved stood out with their unorthodox song structures and all-consuming commitment to Viking mythology. On this EP, they explore metal’s outermost boundaries, placing rasping vocals and runic odes atop a bed of heavily textured, blackened space prog. It is imperious and beautiful in equal measure, a fine offering from these five Norsemen of the apocalypse.

1. “Heimvegen”
Opener “Heimvegen” (or “Way Home” in Norwegian) encapsulates both the vastness of Enslaved’s early days and the progressive tendencies of their last few albums. A galloping 6/8 riff opens into a shifting terrain of psychedelic black metal, as Enslaved alternate between mournful, melodic vocal harmonies and harrowing growls. Eventually they find their way back home to the same riff that kicked off this compact epic.

2. “Alu Misyrki”
A nasty backbone of punk-metal bares its fangs on “Alu Misyrki,” easily the most vicious track on this EP. In their inimitable style, Enslaved fuse a street-level approach with headier black metal picking, all before locking into a destructive 4/4 sludge riff.

3. “Synthesis”
Enslaved drags listeners through a foreboding miasma of cosmic dust on “Synthesis,” a synth-heavy, largely instrumental song that would almost be soothing if it weren’t for the disembodied whispers. It’s perfect for a late night, unsettling trip through your mind.

4. “Nordlys”
This song title translates to “Northern Lights” in Norwegian, and it’s an apt name. “Nordlys” trades in shimmering, instrumental post-punk for its first two minutes, before moving into the spacey yet muscular riffing that has become Enslaved’s trademark.

5. “The Sleeping Gods
Drummer Cato Bekkevold pounds out a deep tribal rhythm to open the EP’s title track, while Enslaved frontman Grutle Kjellson sings incantatory refrains in Norwegian. More of a pagan spell than a proper song, this hypnotic, droning folk number proves that colossal heaviness can still be achieved with acoustic guitars. Smoke rises, dark clouds blot out the sun and as the music ends, the slumbering deities awaken.

     

About Michael

Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!