Quickie: Enslaved – Below the Lights
So at least until this album (Because it’s the last of theirs that I’ve listened to), Enslaved seem to be masters of ambience and atmosphere, from the blackened soundscapes of Vikingligr Veldi, to the folk flavored ramblings of Eld, to the Pink Floyd/70’s prog flavored stuff that brings us to this album.
These are not hyper-complex songs – they tend to go through a series of different sections, but the amount of riffs is not in the millions. Also, they’re not easily shoehorned into any specific character – they’re definitely consonant, not in a way that resembles typical black metal. But besides the riffs, there’s a lot of small leads, vocals, some extra instrumentation on tracks like “Queen of Night”. Some tracks are more minimalistic and in that way resemble Vikingligr Veldi, like the 9 minute mini-epic, “The Crossing”. But most of the songs are shorter, often have more abrupt changes – Take “Ridicule Swarm” as an example – it cycles between two unrelated sections – one with hyperspeed blasting and a few riffs that the more violent black metal bands like Marduk and Dark Funeral would kill for, and a slow section in 10/4 with what sounds like a mellotron playing. It gets boring fast, but wouldn’t had the band developed the sections further.
Still, depending on your “definition” of Enslaved, this may or may not fit in to your demands. It keeps the deep down essence of their sound (as far as I know) but the otherward aesthetics and structures have mutated substantially.