Enslaved / Axioma Ethica Odini

Axioma Ethica OdiniEnslaved is a progressive black metal band formed in June 1991 in Sveio, Norway, and currently based out of Bergen, Norway.

The Analysis:

Ethica Odini—-Coming out of a dark Norwegian fog, the sound sneaks up and smacks you in the back of the head like a sledge-hammer all at once. The vocal enters and is delivered in the most menacing tone I have heard in a very long time…this is a band that has finessed it’s sound and it takes no prisoners. Amidst the mayhem is a remarkable underlying melody and a clean vocal that almost shocks you with the clarity and accessibility. this is about as good as it gets….this is a band that does not get near the attention it deserves. Pure mayhem mixed with a remarkable beauty.

Raidho—-Leaving little time for interludes or quiet introductions, the mayhem begins from the very first notes of the song. Despite all of the overlayed noise and sounds, underneath all of the sound lies a melody that makes this song more accessible than you would imagine. the vocal is exquisite…this is the tortured sound of someone driven much more than you and I…this is delivered with conviction and reality. The slight symphonic shifts in the music create a huge landscape of sounds…this is just fantastic…this being the bands 11th release, I wonder where the hell I have been.

Waruun—-Coming right out of the gate with a death growl that will leave you shaking in your socks, this is a phenomenal track. full of deep and dark plodding bass, this is a huge track that takes a bit to get started but really satisfies no matter what realm of death metal your fascination falls in. This is intense…full of sharp deliveries and moody changes in the music. I could never ask for more from one band…let alone from one solitary song. When the gentle guitar interludes enter…you shake your head and check your cue…no fear…the mayhem is quick to ensue once again. The clean vocals on this track add so much to the monumental feel of the song…this is a pure 7 minute masterpiece….just fantastic!!!  Thanks to Rob at Rama Lama Records in Toledo!!!

The Beacon—-One thing about this band…..you never have time to catch your breath…this song begins the second that it begins and the track never lets up. this has an incredible guitar melody that almost overrides the vocal!!! The slight symphonic overtures bring this huge smile to my face that may not leave me for days. The voices sound like a huge choir…the production on this release is stellar and really gives you a great aural experience….this is a pure joy to listen to…your ears may bleed, but you wipe away the trickles with joy and staisfaction…this is huge…masterful and better than anything I have heard in the past year!!!!

Axioma—-Beginning rather sedate and layered, you know…from experience that the best is yet to come. You grab the arms of your chair as you are teased with the pleasure of knowing that this slow and excruciating build-up is going to bring you to your knees. But instead…it is just a slight two-minute teaser…have no fear….mayhem is just around the corner….

Giants—-Indeed….after your slight respite, you are thrown head first back into the pit to fen for yourself amidst the heavy bass plods of this track. The drums are fantastic on this song…although the bass seems to be the star of the show. There are some slight monk style chants at the onset of the song, but you know that this is just a gratuitous respite. Once the vocal puking begins, you are totally on your own…to fight off the demons that your own brain conjures up. This is mayhem unleashed and delivered with the practise and finesse that all of these years of experience have led up to. This is a huge, noisy track that still despite it all manages to keep a foothold on melody and masterful delivery. The clean vocal adds so much to the song…mixed in perfectly with the more guttural vocals…this is pure noise…delivered with melody and perfection.

Singular—-No time for gentleness or slight build-up, the band is in immediate attack mode the second that this track begins. Combining clean and guttural vocals all at the same time, this is a huge layered manic affair that makes your head turn on its very axis. This is full of brutal guitar blasts and brilliant drums, but the chord shifts and the vocals are the pure stars of the show. This is a journey all of its own. this is masterful, lined with a healthy dose of evil and delivered with the practise of a band that has learned what its fans want and exactly how to deliver it….just freakin’ brilliant!!!

Night-Sight—-Wow….this begins really odd…the clean vocal is very, very clean…and the instrumentation is almost acoustic. I shake my head and once again check my cue to make sure I did not somehow fuck up what I was playing…nope…this is Enslaved. This is brilliant…just enough to REALLY turn your head upside down and mess up your entire equilibrium. This is a brilliant way to really throw people off base…but have no fear….two minutes in and all hell breaks loose all over again and you are comfortably at home in mayhem once again. This is incredible…even better is how the underbelly of the song maintains the melody that the gentle track began with. This is just phenomenal.

Lightening—-Again, the introduction of the track serves to set the foundation of melody that will follow the track to its conclusion despite all of the noise that may accompany it. the track again begins with a clean vocal, but the more guttural and deeper voice is not far behind and manages to steal the show from everyone else. the guitars come at you with these short aggressive blasts that leave you exhausted and marvelling at the same time…this is a whole road trip wrapped up in a 7 minute track. The clean vocal serves as a nice respite between the more aggressive outbursts…but the band never loses it’;s credibility despite this. This is a phenomenal record…again, I reiterate…one of the best releases of the year!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]


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