Home > Music > Enslaved – Vikingligr Veldi (1994)

Enslaved – Vikingligr Veldi (1994)

So I’ve already discussed some of this band’s middle period output (Mardraum and Below the Lights). Were I to tell you this were different and nothing else, someone would be like “Thanks for the useful information,” and I’d be like “Wait, what?” because it’s difficult to convey sarcasm in written text.

Most importantly, I’ve made frequent reference to this basically being an ambient metal album. In comparison to something like Exhorder’s “Slaughter in the Vatican”, the amount of riffs per minute is very low – they’re not complex or anything, just simple, melodic, atmospheric riffs. They are complemented by a wide variety of keyboards, and unusually prominent bass. The production is best described as “organic” – everything is reasonably clear, tone is good, but there’s a subtle pervading lo-fi aspect to the sound – it makes things sound old. I’m guessing this was the intent.

Supposedly your average ambient album works with slow developments of sound and structure, and this is no exception. Even when one riff is being repeated for lengthy periods, various keyboard samples will come in and out, the drum patterns will vary, and so on. The band probably executes this most effectively on “Midgar’s Eldar”, which uses its introduction riff for 3 minutes and 30 seconds, exploring various permutations of it, before transitioning into the more varied middle section (which is still intentionally repetitive and droning). The key here is how the song cycles through a variety of textures, which keeps the interest levels relatively high for those willing to sit down and actually pay attention to the music.

Of course, being an album of four 10-minute songs (and one shorter one clocking at 6 minutes), this is probably inaccessible to a neophyte listener of metal, although it’s probably still more accessible than Burzum and Darkthrone’s offerings for the year. The Yggdrasil demo and the second album, Frost both have shorter, more accessible songs, and apparently are more aggressive than this, amongst other things. Eld often dabbles in the same sort of ambient style, but generally has a higher amount of riffs, and a relatively intense production to go along with it. This is definitely an anomaly in terms of its general approach, but it’s still worth your time if you like this specific style of metal.

 

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