Enslaved - RIITIIR
Very few bands can scuttle through so many genres so quickly and make the whole thing work quite as well as Enslaved have become adept at doing. Right from the opening few minutes of 'Thoughts Like Hammers', the band take in black metal, prog rock, doom and psychedelia as if they were all one. Setting the tone for this eclectic and decidedly trippy ride through RIITIIR, the relentless use and abuse of all parts of the musical spectrum continues unabated throughout in a spectacular display of twisted songwriting.
Once the pieces begin to fall in place, it becomes apparent that despite these huge leaps of aural trickery, RIITIIR is heavily groove-laden and stuffed full of catchy and melodious riffs – when the band aren't pummelling you at full throttle. It might not have the immediacy of Axioma Ethica Odini or the sheer class of Ruun, but the complexity of the record shows a willingness to experiment, and will be manna to the ears of prog-heads everywhere. RIITIIR is not an easy listen, but it is a highly rewarding one for those that give Enslaved the time they deserve to unleash the full beauty of this record.