Company: Nuclear Blast Release: 2015 Genre: Black Reviewer: Greg Watson
Accessible and solid
Black metal vets Enslaved return with "In Times", their latest offering that continues mixing post black metal stylings with their classic black metal sound. What you get with "In Times" is one of the band's most accessible and solid albums to date. Mixing beautifully sung clean vocals and jazzy passages with aggressive guitars and vocalist Grutle's snarled and venomous raspings really create an incredible sense of duality. The songs flow with an alternating feel of calm that is quickly replaced by chaotic anger and vice versa. Ivar's guitar work on this album is a study in art as he seemlessly goes from these lush, very emotive progressions to skin-flaying, hate-filled solos and riffs. In all my time of listening to Enslaved, "In Times" may damn well be my favorite album that they have put out. I know black metal purists turn their noses up at this stuff and it's their damn loss. Just because the band aren't playing the type of black metal that you want, doesn't mean that this album is any less black metal than the traditional stuff. The production on this album follows the post black metal formula of keeping things very crisp and clean with a little bit of lo-fi mixed in. All in all, I was totally blown away by "In Times" and will definitely be going to back to this album again and again throughout 2015 and beyond.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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