Reviews : Albums : Enslaved, "Yggdrasil"

Enslaved, "Yggdrasil"
1992, Moonfog
Enslaved, "Yggdrasil"

This is Enslaved's debut demo, "Yggdrasil." These guys blended into the Norwegian scene, but their Viking lyrics separating them from the more Satanic stances of most of the old Norse bands.

This is really fast and raw black metal, just the way it started out, screeching vocals and all. However, the vocals don't damage the songs too much, so it is tolerable. The guitar is quite good here, especially on "Resound of Gjallarhorn," which actually has one part that reminds me of Morbid Angel's, "Brainstorm." You also get to hear the bass quite a bit which is still rare in black metal, especially in, "Heimdallr," which also partly reminds me of the opening of Nile's, "Ramses, Bringer of War." This is also the recorded debut of one Trym Torson, who would go on to join Emperor and Zyklon. This demo is on the fast side of black metal. Amazingly, they went into the studio for the first time knowing how to use a keyboard and not overpower and destroy the song. "Enslaved" sounds like the opening of "Sear Me MCMXCII" by My Dying Bride. Why you would have the song named after your band be an instrumental interlude escapes me, but they keep it short.

The only thing I really dislike, aside from the Maniac style vocals is the fact that they fade out of long songs. This only irritates me, especially on long songs, since to me the fadeout tells the listener, "We couldn't finish the song, so we cheated." Especially on a long song where it's been raging for well over six minutes. A lot of effort went into the rest of the demo, would spending five more minutes on an ending would have killed you?

This is rather typical black metal, though it has enough other touches to make it stand on its own.

Standout Tracks

   Niunda Heim
   Resound of Gjallarhorn