Reviews for Enslaved - Mardraum:
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What's going on here? Looks like we're being approached by a new breed known as the urban cyber-vikings! They've pillaged the vaults of über-riffs and quality metal, and ought to be heading for a CD-player near you!

As you might've guessed by my intro, on Mardraum Enslaved take yet another step away from their viking-roots. Some of the influences are still there, like the somewhat peculiar "epic" vocals that appear from time to time, some lyrical themes and of course the grandiose atmosphere of the music. But this time it seems like the guys have been dipping their wings into some of the psychedelic waters that many bands of the 70's wet their throats at, not to mention taking a long good listen to their old Voivod records.

In fact, "Entrance - Escape" almost sounds like a long-lost song from Voivod's Nothingface sessions. But no, this is still distinctly Enslaved. And it's an Enslaved that most certainly hasn't given up exploring their music. Atypical songstructures, exploration of new chords, instead of holding on to the "tried and true" powerchords and an overall sense of excitement really makes for a great album.

There is still a lot left from the black metal of old, but mixed in with all these new elements we get an album that truly sticks out in today's scene, proving that there's still much to be explored out there, even if you stick with just a good ol' Guitars, Drums, Bass and Vocals line-up. And this is one of the few albums where some riffs come out and just make me wonder how the hell they came up with THAT! There's definitely no rehashed 'Sabbath-riffing.

In other words, if you liked Enslaved in the past, you most likely will still like this. And if you're anything like me, it might even become your favorite Enslaved album. But this also offers something new, and should thus also be of interest to people who have not been too excited by previous Enslaved outings.

Review by Øystein Holm-Olsen

Taken From Satan Stole my Teddybear

Review by: theBlackWizards

Iīve been absolutely shocked when meeting this album several times. Iīve tried to get into it, but I simply couldnīt. And I was not before a new band, or new album, or a specially weird kind of metal. I must admit that Iīm not a very open-minded person, too. But one thing is true: I couldnīt swallow this album at all. Enslaved were the viking metal itself, they were carrying the flag of the northern spirit, but they forgot the essence in this release.
"Frost" was immense. "Eld" was superb. "Blodhemn" was a step forward musically speaking, introducing new elements and sounds to the Enslaved ship. But it was very solid, the songs were well-structured and they had a certain bewitching appeal, after all. The coming of new members seemed not to have altered the purity of the band. Now the story has changed. "Mardraum" is a big mistake. Death metal have poisoned their veins until make them unable to write good songs in the vein of the previous ones. I have nothing against death metal, just the opposite: I admire a bunch of death metal bands. Thatīs the reason why I think Enslavedīs "Mardraum" is an enormous ripoff to the fans and the scene in general. The blend of viking/death/thrash metal that they convey here is utterly unbearable. Who do they think they are? Of course, theyīll say that theyīve made whatever they wanted to, thatīs right. But theyīve done a piece of crap, in my opinion. Boring songs, pretentiously progressive patterns that tuck away an evident lack of interesting ideas, dull lyrics, nonsense artwork and bandīs image... pathetic vocal work, absence of musical personality... a strange mixture of styles... and no style in a nutshell. I just canīt grasp how many people praised this album, maybe because it wears the word "Enslaved" in the cover... donīt be wrong, if you want to hear good nordic agressive cold raw metal, this one is not for you. I wonder how the next Enslaved album will be. Maybe a "Billy Idol meets At The Gates and found Bathory along the way" style? Progression must not be mistaken for loss of the roots and personality.
Congratulations boys, the Norse Gods will prepare to receive you in Niflheim, because Valhalla is too solemn for losers... May the shame descend over your heads and make you repent of play this stinky offal.

Review by: fjordi

I wouldnt listen to the above review, though I can sympatize with it. It took me awhile to get into Mardraum, mainly because of the Abyss studio production. Enslaved always had a great atmophere in Greigheim. Once I got used to it I found the album is pretty typical Enslaved. Same oddball progressive riffs made for air guitaring, same short and useless solos that follow the harmony and same viking crooning. The experimental track 3 is stil metal, though in English and with alot of ethereal sounding guitar in the background. This is not new for Enslaved its just so blatant this time around. They set aside a whole song to explain their influences (the next album integrates the ideas found here more efficiently). The main difference on Mardraum is that the music sounds a bit more mature and a bit less necro (thanks to the production), but the typical Enslaved sound is still there. They still sing about Norwegian stuff long after everyone else abandoned the forest. In the modern world of black metal where Emperor and Dimmu Borgir took black metal maybe too far out, Enslaved have chosen to sound modern as well but by evolving to improve their majestic and progessive sounds without turning into heavy metal cheese. Though frost may be their best, I have a respect for this album because it speaks more to me than most other albums from the once great innovators of BM. My opinion.

Review by: starchildo

I can't fully agree with the other reviews here - this album is not bad, but Enslaved lost their remarkable viking-type of sounding. Too sad...Hope they'll learn from their mistakes and offer something more interesting in their new album

Review by: The Trooper

Whow! At last I have this album, but is this black metal? In some places it sound's like death, but everything else is hell know's what! I coul'd expect... maybe fully acoustic album, or instrumental, but they have experemented too far. Too far from Enslaved. You know, I was less shocked, then I heard Burzum's "Balder's Dod".

Review by: BlackData

This one hell of an art...great sound, great ideas in music, great playing...i can agree to the fact that they lost their epic-viking sound, but long and how much can you play the same kind of music.Mardraum is really great.10/10

Review by: Tjahzi

this is a great album, with a dreamlike athmosphere and complicated guitars. the guitar sounds are also very varied, no synth on this piece!
it only takes a few listens since it is a long CD and the tracks are complex.


Review by: kvlt

Hello, this is a great Enslaved's album, they are more... melodic?, but... the quality is high. rather... is a fucking great album, variety in music, agression and harmony, with this album Enslaved demostrates that they can release more variety of black metal, touching the borders of death metal, for me... since now... Mardraum is one of the best Enslaved' productions... LATERS...

Review by: Northvisions

This album is such a large step after Blodhemn that I don't think it really matters that it is different from their earlier viking albums. Mardraum is more what could be considered brutal, but also the acoustic passages which find their ways into the songs could be called mournful and dreamy.
The production is no doubt different from the other albums, it has a harder edge to it, but the nonetheless the songs are extremely epic, and the album as a whole is like a voyage over icy dead waters. Enslaved are still the fucking vikings they were.

Review by: moonwraith

This is simply a sperimental can tell that is less viking that the others but it is very good.....if you look in the substance this is a good album,pleasant aggressive and with interesting atmospheric parts.....not bad

Review by: impaled god

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