Two years after the release of “In Times”, Enslaved are back with “E”, their 14th full length album. Their new opus “E” is based on the legends and philosophy behind the ancient rune with the same name. Although more gloomy and with darker twists than its predecessor, “E” continues in the same line of work Enslaved has gotten us used in the past decade. However, in here they have taken it a little bit further, without ever losing track of their roots, resulting in a rather interesting musical piece.
We can describe “E” as a masterful combination of black and progressive metal, tied harmoniously. Enslaved has, once again, created a piece that transcends both genres. In this is album you can find many nuances that require you to listen to the album a few times in order to grasp all of them.
This record starts out with “Storm Son”, a ten-minute long masterfully crafted piece with an epic intro. Despite the recently line up change, their new member, Håkon Vinje a young talented keyboardist, has proven to be well integrated in the band. The aforementioned, can be seen in songs such as “Axis Of The World” or “Feathers Of Eolh”, on which he contributed with some somewhat psychedelic details. This made the songs musically more rich without going overboard. Another detail that could not go unnoticed, in spite of being a bonus track, is the sublime cover the band did for “What Else Is There”, a song originally by Royksopp. This is a definite proof that the band can go outside their comfort zone and still be able to thrive and deliver something beautiful and inspired.
Despite having a few details that stand out the most, this record in its whole is extremely homogeneous quality-wise. In short, it is an extremely rich and interesting work, as one might expect from Enslaved. They truly are one of the most steady and reliable bands in the metal world. Recommended to everyone who likes extreme music that goes a few steps further and doesn’t follow any conventional rules.