Enslaved - Vertebrae MAG

June 4, 2009
By Ian LaCasse BRONZE, Jaffrey, New Hampshire
Ian LaCasse BRONZE, Jaffrey, New Hampshire
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Norway isn't exactly ­famous for its music, but fans of modern progressive metal and black metal know better. It may be a shock to many that this country's biggest cultural export is most likely its black metal scene, which has resulted in the birth of many bands including Emperor, Darkthrone, Mayhem, Dimmu Borgir, and Satyricon. Opeth, a group whose high-quality psychedelic albums are modern epics reminiscent of a gothic King Crimson or Pink Floyd, may eventually become the world leader in prog rock. ­Enslaved has found a comfortable place between these two worlds on its newest offering, “Vertebrae.”

The album starts off with the track “Clouds,” a song that builds from a spacey riff and reaches its titular destination with Pink Floyd-esque vocals and the harsh croak of lead singer Grutle Kjellson. “Ground” has a classic rock feel to its riffs, an atmospheric, jazzy guitar solo courtesy of Ice Dale, and emotion to add to its black metal majesty.

Other highlights include “New Dawn,” a confrontational, powerful track, and “The Watcher,” which features a quick buildup to some of the most emotional moments of the album (“Did I sacrifice in vain?”).

Surprisingly mellow, “Vertebrae” is a mature and unpredictable black metal opus that is at once as modern as the murmuring samples throughout and as ancient as the gods that Enslaved have been screaming for in the icy regions of their homeland. An album this well crafted is something Norway should be proud of, something it can add to its rich cultural heritage.


The author's comments:
Not much to say here, but I've skimmed through Teen Ink a few times, and while I've noticed lots of articles on the new Kanye West album or whatever I've never seen anything on black metal.

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This article has 6 comments.


on Mar. 7 2015 at 3:53 pm
theheavymetalist ELITE, Winter Haven, Florida
247 articles 0 photos 57 comments

Favorite Quote:
Take me As I Am - James Labrie of Dream Theater

Opeth was actually influenced by the Norwegian Black Metal scene, especially bands like Emperor and Enslaved. In fact, Orchid and Morningrise are considered progressive BLACK Metal albums, then everything else was Progressive Metal.

on Jan. 30 2015 at 10:28 am
theheavymetalist ELITE, Winter Haven, Florida
247 articles 0 photos 57 comments

Favorite Quote:
Take me As I Am - James Labrie of Dream Theater

Also my favorite Norwegian Black Metal band would likely always be Emperor because it has Ihsahn and prog Black Metal.

on Jan. 30 2015 at 10:27 am
theheavymetalist ELITE, Winter Haven, Florida
247 articles 0 photos 57 comments

Favorite Quote:
Take me As I Am - James Labrie of Dream Theater

I agree. Sadly I have none of their records, but from the album "Vikingligr Veldi" I can say I'm not disappointed.

@envyeconomy said...
on Oct. 10 2009 at 8:10 am
They didn't say Opeth is from Norway, they comparing their musically progression. I can see where you can't make a mistake their is . then Opeth,

@envyeconomy said...
on Oct. 10 2009 at 8:06 am
Enslaved is a prime example of a band that did everything right through the path of their career and keep experimenting with their music so that each record is like a chapter, unique in itself. Everyone should own this record and if not all of Enslaved Records. Enslaved is a band you know will never disappoint, they simply can't.

zigomir said...
on Oct. 10 2009 at 6:17 am
Opeth aren't from Norway...though Vertebrae is very good album.


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