Tag Archives: arve “ice dale” isdal

“Vertabrae” by Enslaved

Artist: Enslaved
Title: Vertabrae”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 10/28/2008
Genre: Viking/Progressive Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

The moment you start spinning “Vertabrae”, the newest release by Norway’s legendary Enslaved, you will be hit by waves of Atmosphere that are stronger than gale force winds and stand to knock you off of your feet in short order. It sounds a little dramatic but this was the exact feeling that hit me when I began playing this disc for while intrinsically dark in overall texture the band was really touching upon their progressive side a whole lot more than they ever dared to before. It begins with “Clouds” and there are a number of Pink Floyd feels and valleys being explored as soon as the album begins. From the onset we find dreamy and airy vocals from keyboardist Larsen that work in tandem to the Pagan shrieks of Kjellson, and in the end this becomes a duality of light and darkness all during the same tracks which makes it an almost intoxicating listening experience. The albums title track comes off as something that one would typically find in the Opeth set list and I am impressed to find more bands of note daring to explore and push aside the boundaries so to better deliver their true musical expressions. Lyrically this is very strong and works within the subject matter of their past releases by dealing with topics relating to Viking culture and its philosophy. My first recommendation on how to play this would be to let it start and then complete without jumping around because I felt that doing so will cheat you out of the experience meant to be received with this one. Of course there are heavy and crushing riffs to be found as well and this is not only to be viewed as “Head Metal” and we find this during “New Dawn” which is a number that delivers thundering double kick drums and blast beat drumming that push you to the ground while the vocals and guitars twist you around and offer up some roller coasting in terms of the various tempo changes. It’s impressive to say the least and an album that I think those who have been following the band over the last few years will be proud of. The album only holds eight tracks but you shall not feel cheated at all since the larger portion of them surpasses the six minute mark with two coming close to eight minutes. Oddly enough, despite the length of the track the song seems to move fast and not bore you. This is always a good thing.
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“Between Two Worlds” by I

Artist: I
Title: “Between Two Worlds”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 11/14/2006
Genre: Black Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

I will be one of the first to admit that when I hear something is a side project devised of the guys in other popular Metal bands that most of the time I am less than excited about it. The reason because of this is primarily due to the end result not being all too interesting. Yet when you find one is built up of personnel such as Abbath and Armagedda (Immortal), TC King (Gorgoroth), and Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal (Enslaved) it truly bears more than a casual investigation. These musicians are members of the Black Metal Illuminati and their existing work is a testimony to their skills in matters Dark. However, instead of a blistering display of Black Metal with this project the listener is treated to more of a Dark Hard Rock that falls along the line of Motorhead and perhaps even a little bit of Chrome Division (the side project of Dimmu Borgir’s Shagrath). There are times when the record holds an Immortal feel, but just done at a slower pace than they are known for and also has this topped off with a twist of recent Enslaved. In the end this is just an excellent listening experience. I never expected a more Classic Rock vibe based on the membership origins but it just stands as credit to these members skills and abilities to craft such a unique project. The albums opener “Storm I Ride” is a thunderous track that will have your attention as they offer tribute to old KISS in the feel and vibe bringing to mind some eighties W.A.S.P. as well.
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