Review by Daniel for Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini (2010)
This is a very impressive album indeed. I have been overwhelmed by how much I like it really & haven't listened to anything else for a few days now. It's also highlighted just how poor a year 2010 has been for the black metal genre in general as it is far superior to anything else I have heard so far. Not being overly familiar with Enslaved's recent albums, I was a bit concerned that I wouldn't enjoy "Axioma Ethica Odini" as much as their early material due to the increased progressive influence however I needn't have worried because they have certainly not discarded their black metal roots. On first listen I wasn't overly impressed with the progressive sections but they certainly grow on you with each listen & ultimately make the all-out black metal sections sound even heavier due to the wonderful contrast.
The sound is nothing short of perfect for this style of music. The guitar sound is a definite highlight & it's wonderful to see so many tributes to "Hammerheart"-era Bathory throughout the album. Also the black metal vocals are incredibly powerful & aggressive. In fact they might be my favourite of the whole genre. The clean vocals have been gaining more & more impact with each listen & are really digging their claws into me at the moment. Second track "Raidho" would have to my album highlight. It really gets me going.
It's nice to hear an extreme metal band that doesn't feel the need to drown their riffs in blastbeats & instead lets them breath with simpler, more open drumming accompaniment for the benefit of the songs. Fans of Rush & Yes will hear some obvious tribute sections here & there too (which is not a bad thing as far as I am concerned) but these sections never let the album lose momentum or sound wanky. A fantastic release that has gone close to restoring my faith in the black metal genre.