Enslaved’s "RIITIIЯ"

Following the tread off of their course on a strict Viking metal focus and centered in the scope of progression, RIITIIЯ, from Norway’s Enslaved, can boast itself as a monumental album that appeals to human chain of senses. RIITIIЯ means “The Rites of Man,” which Enslaved has attributed to the similarities in the traditions of the world’s cultures. This is somewhat responsible for lifting this work to hover over the familiar, generalized progressive mark that is given to Enslaved’s current artistic explorations. The lengthy tracks grow into each other with a weighted seriousness that animates and drives them into another sphere of the heavy metal consciousness, purging listeners’ thoughts that have the ability soar above a sole appreciation for musicality. The greater revelation of the work, nonetheless, is not misguided by this notion. It plays on the ability to offer a cluster of songs that joins the exercising of thinking and instrumentation.


Enslaved’s RIITIIЯ was released in fall of 2012.  Image courtesy: nuclearblast.de


“Thoughts Like Hammers” is one of the album’s prime offerings of Enslaved’s somewhat newly incorporated skill for exploring the nature of mental abstract concepts. With a nod at the visual influence from the music video, listeners can reel in sharper clues by incorporating the images. The detached scenes reveal a waterfall and ocean as well as a clouded sky; this offers interpretations of human though patterns. With this aid as a factor, “Thoughts Like Hammers,” gives clues to guide listeners into a certain frame. The song’s drippy pounding sculpts a path into an open area that begs personal interpretations, perceptions. This is widely influenced by the guitars, but it is almost thrust out of minds with the presence of Grutle Kjellson’s harsh vocals and seem to be made secure with Herbrand Larsen’s clean singing. It is as if “Thoughts Like Hammers” is what pushes listeners to an edge of cognition. This is, however, executed without becoming suffocated in the traditional vocal combinations used by known extreme metal bands.With the fusion of the lyrical construction and musical dynamics, this song serves as an automatic application to the remainder of the album.

Entering as the second track, “Death in the Eyes of Dawn,” can be labeled as softer continuation of the album’s dawning. With its hazy, melancholic beginning, it easily is given the stamp of a memorable tune that compares with other less harsh approaches in heavier music. More specifically, it contrasts with “Thoughts Like Hammers,” in that, its texture is somewhat exploratory; it is characterized by a singing in the chorus that tugs at one’s tendency to sing along. This factor, as in any band’s or artist’s work, is vital because it allows listeners to be participants rather than beings placed in observatory trances. While it also complements “Thoughts Like Hammers” with the necessary purging of thought, it has a relaxed quality in its atmosphere. An intense, rapid guitar solo greets listeners near the song’s end, which is then met by an abrupt progressive tinted session. Nevertheless, the song does not seem to lose its theme by repeating melodies.

If one of the album’s tracks had to be pinned to mimicking the function of its title, “Storm of Memories” is that piece. A drum rhythm livened by Cato Bekkevold  immediately becomes the focus, which is appropriately blurred with an inclusion of vocalizations that seem to reflect the band’s depiction of the nature and motion of memories. This track can also be associated with a wildness that can be interpreted as a connection with RIITIIЯ‘s overall message that represents the practices of humankind.

The majority of the album seems to perform as a bundled mass, capable and determined to strike another type of awareness for knowing fans as well as folks interested in heavier sounds. This clustered nature may leave some ears of followers slightly puzzled; this possible wondering, however, protected. There are hints thrown toward Enslaved’s initial instrumentation, but this does not escape a strong advancement found in a mellow, matured approach of lyrical expression. This projects its voice to remain a vital force in the heavy metal arena and absorbing in a youthful enthusiasm.




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