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May 2005
Released: 2005, Tabu
Rating: 4.3/5
Reviewer: El Cid

With MONUMENSION’s a few years back, Enslaved definitely parted ways with the simple version of Viking Metal. This doesn’t mean that they completely left their roots behind, only that they have added a great deal of elements to their sound to be only categorized as Viking Metal. Now, with the release of their latest opus ISA, Enslaved have taken yet another step in the same direction. In the core of the album, we still find the original sound of Enslaved, that high pitched, staccato flavoured take on Viking Black metal the band made itself known by.

The music on ISA is nothing if not original. The use of operatic passages and undertones is evident, but it’s not overdone in a “Nightwish-y” style. Here, it serves to bring out the tone of the whole, but doesn’t dominate the songs at all. The perfect communion of everything blended into the album is evident when you play close attention to the manner in which the vocals and the music blend together. The variations in the vocal style, (going from classic Black Metal screech to low, clean crooning) simply mark the brilliance of a band that time after time continues to improve itself through sheer variation and experimentation. Kudos to Enslaved for another magnificent release.

Choice Cuts: “Isa” ****, “Neogenesis” *****
Track Listing

Intro: Green Reflection
Lunar Force
Bounded By Allegiance
Violet Dawning
Return To Yggrasill
Secrets Of The Flesh
Outro: Communion





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