The bastard metal children of Erik the Red returned from the seas with a follow up to "Viklingr Veldi" that would make even the most grim beserker among them smile and hold his battleaxe high and proud. This album is not only shorter in total time, but the songs are also much shorter, making for very little wasted time or space on here. This leads to some total audio destruction on here, but it still stays weird enough to be called Enslaved. There is also another big improvement on this album from "Viklingr Veldi," the vocals of Grutle Kjellson. While they are on the high side still, they no longer clone the God/Satan/Odin-awful shrieking of Manaic. After an intro the album gets going, and it comes out firing more furiously than your average panzer division, and I don't mean Marduk. Trym's drumming takes a step up here, a sign of the battery to come in his later work with Emperor and Zyklon. The keyboards are still gainfully employed here, but as always they are used with discretion and are kept in the background, where they belong. The basswork on here is also well done, and actually present in the mix, which was novel for most black metal albums of the time. There is also a lot of chanting - for lack of a better term - on the album, mainly during introductions, or during slower parts of songs. The pace is also nice, as many of the songs come blistering out of the gate, then change pace very smoothly and get all bizarre in the usual Enslaved style. The main evidence of the band's technical ability comes on the song "Gylfaganning," which in its own way is almost as jagged sounding and screwed up as Meshuggah's "Beneath."
I really like this album a lot and should be ashamed of myself for not vehemently worshipping it sooner.