In Times

Norway's Enslaved practically invented Viking metal with the release of the Vikingligr Veldi EP in 1994. With each successive release, however, the band reinvented itself to the point it could no longer be labeled so easily. In Times is Enslaved's 12th full-length and it showcases the players' ability to blend the best parts of death, black and progressive metal without sounding dated or derivative. The sometimes cold and dark atmospheric sounds on songs such as the nearly 11-minute title track show a band unafraid of letting the music guide them wherever they must go. Fans of earlier records might not enjoy the clean vocals of keyboard player Herbrand Larsen here, but they play into the band's approach of bringing harmony to a genre mostly devoid of it. Founding members Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass) and Ivar Bj&#;oslash;rnson (guitar, keys, vocals) certainly aren't about to write any radio singles; each of the album's six songs clock in at over eight minutes. From the bombastic opening track, “Thurisaz Dreaming,” through magnifcent closer, “Daylight,” In Times is one epic ride.