22 February 2012

Living Life Beneath the Hammer

Enslaved (Norway)
Vikingligr Veldi
February 22, 1994

Yesterday I posted Emperor's 1994 full length debut. Today, it's the equally mandatory debut full length by Enslaved, which was released the day after Emperor's. This is a good comparison between albums. I find Enslaved has a warmer sound on this release. Whereas Emperor had a focus on the overtly occult/magical realm of subject matter, and instrumental technicality that forces closer analysis and a more inward, exclusive disposition, Enslaved differed themselves from most of the big names of the second wave of black metal through their emphasis on more of a natural homeland or viking perspective from the get-go, conveying a broader outlook, with simplicity in repetition and a more outward yet inclusive disposition. Musically, this is some of the earliest threads of what would eventually weave into the mossy tapestry of recent American waves of black metal (Weakling, Wolves in the Throne Room), spun from the very locks of Odin that are used today in Norse or pagan oriented black metal (Drudkh, Winterfylleth), but washed in a mildly hallucinogenic witches brew that's shared around amongst more avant-garde or progressive black metal bands (Sorgeldom, early Blut aus Nord). This can easily be played as an ambient stargazing album. Read more for the full stream, I highly recommend it.

Lifandi Liv Undir Hamri by Enslaved on Grooveshark
Vetrarnótt by Enslaved on Grooveshark
Midgards Eldar by Enslaved on Grooveshark
Heimdallr by Enslaved on Grooveshark
Norvegr (instrumental) by Enslaved on Grooveshark

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