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Enslaved - Isa (CD)

by Evi Tsitsi at 30 November 2004, 9:24 PM

I strongly believe that Enslaved's tenth album, Isa, is a great piece of work. Enslaved seems to have done a huge progress compared to all the previous albums. Few musicians eventually succeed in having an evolution in their music, without losing their personal identity. Enslaved handle all that very well. It is also noteworthy to say that Enslaved look into the future but they also continue to have respect and faith in the past.
Enslaned debuted in 1992 with their Yggdrasill demo,although the group's first real available product was a split CD with Emperor. Enslaved were to later issue a split album with Satyricon in 1996 entitled Yggdrasill. Previous to Enslaved both vocalist Grutle Kjellson and guitarist Ivar Bjornson operated under the title of Phobia, the drummer for act Hein Frode Hansen, would later be found in Theater Of Tragedy. Drummer Trym Torson departed for Emperor and a permanent replacement was found in Dirge Rep (in actuality Per Per Husebo of Gehenna) as Enslaved also welcomed second guitarist Richard Kronheim. Bjornson is also a member of Borknagar. Rep would announce in mid 2001 that apart for remaining the drummer of Enslaved he would be bashing the skins for Aura Noir as well. Upon completion of UK dates in 2002 guitarist Richard Kronheim was asked to leave the band. Enslaved duly drafted two temporary replacements for live work; guitarist Arve Isdal and keyboard player Oyvind. The band signed with Tabu Recordings in May.
Enslaved have Black Metal roots and a feeling of Viking Metal. The sound of Isa includes amazing Metal riffs, endless multi-dimensional melodic paths, growled and sometimes clear vocals and some keyboards which make a stirring atmosphere. It is remarkable that all the songs have a much more Heavy Metal conception. Sometimes Isa reminds me of groups like Isis and Neurosis. The eighth song, Secrets Of The Flesh, is a groovy, full of anger, instrumental song. Violet Dawning is an amazing song with emotional melodies, which can carry you away and make you think of high mountains, wild seas and generally all the beauties of nature.
I must say that Isa has nothing to do with the previous works of Enslaved. They have matured, yet they still have their own authenticity. It is obvious that with this album Enslaved will acquire many friends in the entire Metal scene and not only fans of Black Metal.
- Album Highlights: Violet Dawning and Secrets Of The Flesh.

4 Star Rating

Intro: Green Reflection
Lunar Force
Bounded By Allegiance
Violet Dawning
Return To Yggdrasill
Secrets Of The Flesh (Instr.)
Outro: Communion (Excerpt)
Grutle Kjellson - Vocals & Bass
Ivar Bjornson - Guitar & Keyboards
Dirge Rep - Drums
Record Label: Tabu Recordings


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