Contextually, this album was a challenge for me to write. As a fifteen year old some twenty two years ago I was fortunate enough to Bergen Norway’s Enslaved at Mirage in Minneapolis along with fellow Osmose Productions label mates at the time, Absu.  Unfortunately for me Mirage in Minneapolis has not existed for many years but fortunately we still have Enslaved and they continue to impress and astound with their amazing body of work.

M actually stands for E and is a reference to the ruin “ehwaz”. E is quite the transitional record for Enslaved in that it is the first record featuring new Keyboardist/Vocalist Hakon Vinje.  Vinje had previously worked with guitarist Ivar Bjornson and bassist Grutle Kjellson on the project Skuggjsa. E opens with “Storm Son” which may be the anthem track of the album.  At almost eleven minutes long the album opener slowly builds with a bellow and a blow of a horn and add in some neighing horses and you get a segue into a beautiful arpeggiated chord line with some subtle fuzz behind it to give the track some extra ambience.

Once the verse kicks in I must admit I was not expecting such a progressive forward effort.  The grim parts on this track and throughout the album are quite subtle.  For fans of older Enslaved this might not be up your alley as to me it feels a bit like a different band but given their massive body of work it is difficult to call this a bad album by any means. “Sacred Horse” might appeal more to older Enslaved fans as it sounds like a more traditional Enslaved black metal song. This is probably one of the more aggressive tracks on E.  Being that most of the tracks on E are around ten minutes long it takes a bit of commitment and patience to get through each track but there is enough variety throughout that I didn’t find myself losing interest often.

Tracks like “Feathers of Eolh” on the other hand shift the groups focus back to more progressive folk elements. If you are a fan of Enslaved you will more than likely appreciate this effort as the record sounds fantastic and the performances are solid throughout.  The additional of a new vocalist brings a new dimension to the groups evolving sound.  Maybe not their strongest record but definitely one of their most transitional ones. Check it out.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
October 23rd, 2017


  1. Commented by: Glenn Whitehead

    I started to read this and it made no sense at all, so i stopped. Did you write the album? No. You wrote a review of the album. What does it mean -“fortunate to Bergen Norway’s Enslaved…

    “M actually stands for E and is a reference to the ruin “ehwaz”” So what!? What does that mean?

    I look forward to being able to afford this one record.

  2. Commented by: Nick K


    I started off with review trying to put my own personal experience with Enslaved into the review. They have been aroudn a long time and have a broad body of work. I hope the link above gives you more information regarding “Ehwaz”. We are fortunate to still have this group producing great music.

    I hope this makes more sense. Thank you for reaching out. NK

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