Norway's Enslaved have returned with a new recording which continues the progressive style of viking black metal from their previous releases and this is a review of their 2020 album "Utgard" which will be released in October by Nuclear Blast Records.
Melodic viking chants and vocals start off the album along with some acoustic guitars a few seconds later which also adds in touches of folk music when they are utilized. The heavier riffs also add in a great amount of melody along with the synths also giving the songs more of a progressive feeling.
When guitar solos and leads are utilized they are also done in a very melodic style while grim sounding black metal screams are also a very huge part of the recording. Some of the tracks are also long and epic in length along with the music also having its atmospheric moments and all of the musical instruments also have a very powerful sound to them.
When the music speeds up a decent amount of blast beats can also be heard along with the lo picking also showing a little bit of the aggression that was more present on their earlier releases. Throughout the recording you can also hear a decent mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts.
A couple of tracks also introduce spoken word parts onto the album which also gives the music more of a ritualistic feeling, as the album progresses a brief use of electronic music elements can also be heard, some of the riffing also shows an influence of traditional metal. The production sounds very professional while the lyrics are written in a mixture of Norwegian and English and cover Norse Mythology and Paganism from a Jungian Perspective.
In my opinion this is another great sounding recording from Enslaved and if you are a fan of this band, you should check out this album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Fires In the Dark" "Homebound" and "Distant Seasons". 8 out of 10.