Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini (Indie Recordings)

Are you a black metal fan? Axioma Ethica Odini is for you. Are you not? This album is for you as well!

When I first read that Enslaved were recording a new album, my heart skipped a beat, as it always does when a classic Norwegian band releases an album. All I knew is that I should expect innovation, but in what direction?

Their last album Vertebrae was not bad. I gave it some listenings but I must agree it was going away from the classical black metal to a more "progressive" side of their musical experiments.

Axioma Ethica Odini is a great surprise for those old-schoolers who like to see their favourite bands going back to their halcyon days. Of course you won't hear here Vikingligr Veldi or Frost again; rather, one can expect something between Mardraum and Isa. But much, much better!

They push their song to the extreme boundaries of creativity, and you can expect to hear a real black metal trip here.

Ethica Odini kicks off the CD with Grutle Kjellson bringing his fury from the top of some forgotten Fjord... Melodic, however legitimate black metal riffs announce Enslaved's eternal oath to the old Norwegian cult.

Raidho and Waruun go through the same way, alternating the melancholic vocal lines of Herbrand Larsen and the harsh vocal torment of Kjellson.

The Beacon is one of the highlights of this CD, though. The black metal is more evident here. By the way, the black metal is the only thing you can hear here. Surprisingly pure with no melodic vocals, the lyrics, the cadence, the refrain, all lead to a pure obscure headbanging way. This song is really catchy and they show the musical supremacy of the true norwegian black metal in just one song. Enough to make one love and acquire Axioma Etchica Odini.

Axioma is an interlude, then come the impressive and mysterious riffs of Giants. It sounded dull the first time I heard it, but later the riffs gave me (and continue to give) goosebumps.

Now let me say what an infamous task is: to try and explain the song Singular. Maybe it has this name because it sounds truly sui generis. The harsh and clean vocals don't sound so impressive at the beginning. The next minute you will find yourself lost in a ocean of crazy tempos, cruel grunts, progressive (really!) atmospheres. The song starts in a direction, goes to unknown lands and come back triumphantly to the same point. A masterpiece!

The clean and calm atmospheres were not forgotten by Ivar Bjørnson (guitars - the crazy genius behind Axioma Ethica Odini) though.The bland vocals are predominant in the two last songs of CD, Night Sight and Lightening, contrasting with the rest of the album which has some sort of viking aggressiveness: the songs are a cathartic moment after the storm of damnation.

Interesting lyrics and enigmatic ambiences are the bottom lines of this excellent (for real Enslaved fans) and interesting (for newcomers) album that will please not only the black metal purists, but, believe me, the metal fans in general. If you're into good music, you are into ENSLAVED!

Enslaved's Axioma Ethica Odini is out now on Indie Recordings