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Review: Enslaved - Below The Lights
Below The Lights

Label: The End Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 46:19
Tracks: 7
Genre: Viking Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: May 25, 2003
Reviewed by: Christian Renner
Readers Rating
Below The Lights

Rated 4/5 (80%) (37 Votes)

Enslaved is a band that has more than its share of notoriety when it comes to the black metal world. Being one of the bands in the forefront of the Norwegian Black Metal movement their previous releases have been praised as much as their albums has been varied. I have liked every release they have made thus far so when I received this promo I wasn’t thinking that my high esteem for the band would be changing anytime soon. I have to admit I was a little nervous when I first heard that both R. Kronheim (Guitars) and Dirge Rep (Drums) had left the band but as I put the disc in those fears were quickly laid to rest as I came to hear that Enslaved had written an album that may very well be the best and most focused album of their careers.

One of the main things you notice on this album is the amount of and liberal use of melody throughout the length. It is not done in a way to overshadow the songs but simply to add more depth to the overall sound. The general atmosphere of the album is still kept to that tried and true cold and dark feel but with the added melody and at times acoustic passages the album really takes off from the general black metal sound into a sonic landscape encompassing much more than you had previously heard from the band. I am not sure how much the new guitarist (Arve Isdal) had to do with the overall writing of this album but he does provide some damn good leads and riffs throughout. The production is also crystal clear with every instrument given its equal moment even the acoustic guitars and flute on some tracks is perfectly handled.

Overall I was more than a little impressed by this album and can easily recommend this to fans of black metal (Especially if you are fans of Bathory) and fans with open minds. If you had never really gotten into the black metal genre you may want to give this a try and see what you think. Highly Recommended.

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