Enslaved - Isa (Tabu/Candlelight) - Back
Seven albums of highly acclaimed black/viking metal material since the early 1990's, and Enslaved are still standing tall next to most other Norwegian black metal bands that have either gone extinct or become something entirely different. Enslaved’s 7th opus, “Isa”, shows much progression and still entirely maintains their patented black/viking-ish feel! Hell- just check out some of their promo pics on their website!! In my opinion, this is their finest release since “Blodhemn”! The intro presents a very space-like landscape, which quickly finds it's way back to Norway whence the raw and aggressive melodies begin on "Lunar Force". This track is very solid with a very catchy mid-riff tempo throughout much of its entirety. The title track starts with an extremely old-school black metal riff, adding some viking elements, and then collaborating more so with their black metal roots. I particularly like this one a lot! A bit more of their progressive elements take part in the next two or three songs. This part of the disc kind of reminds me of Emperors' "Prometheus..." album! "Violent Dawning" is very Borknagar-esque with their viking-elements playing a big role again. "Return to Yggdrasil" is more the return to early-Enslaved!! An instrumental prelude introduces "Red Genesis" with blight comfort. A pretty lengthy hymn, but a very suitable one for any Enslaved fan - trust me!! This album is spectacular!! They should mix up their elements a lot more like they have more so on this release. A sure gem in the "un"buried treasure - now invest!!

Rating: 95

Reviewed By: Thomas Mitchell