Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini review




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Reviewer:
9.5

757 users:
8.75
Band: Enslaved
Album: Axioma Ethica Odini
Release date: September 2010


01. Ethica Odini
02. Raidho
03. Waruun
04. The Beacon
05. Axioma
06. Giants
07. Singular
08. Night Sight
09. Lightening

[Limited Edition Bonus 7" Vinyl]
01. Jotunblod (Doom)
02. Migration


Let me tell you how I know that an album is hard to digest but great. When I put it on for the first time, most of the songs blur together, it's impossible to tell them apart. The first impression about the album is accentuated by those cool fragments of songs that remain in my memory. During the second listen I manage to hear most of those fragments. Just when I'm about to play the album for the third time to get those last cool bits, I realise that there are some more cool bits that I picked up during my second listen. With every consecutive listen, the number of cool bits increases, and my mind connects them to respective songs. After 10 listens all bits are in place, the picture is complete and my smile is wider than a six-lane freeway, because the album is brilliant.

This is exactly the case with Axioma Ethica Odini. With every listen you will discover a new gem of a song. You will encounter a new, surprising time signature. You will be amazed by another mood shift, keyboard part, vocal line, or labyrinthine progression of riffs within a single song. "Ethica Odini" will keep you enchanted with its catchy, yet wonderfully convoluted chorus and ominous keyboards, creeping just underneath the guitars. "Singular" will enthrall you with its ever-shifting time signatures and seduce you with a psychedelic guitar passage and eerie vocals that come about six minutes into the song. You will be captivated by the majestic beginning of "Giants," slowly thickening, sinister buildup to the madness of "Waruun," or the mellow beginning of "Night Sight". Finally, "Lightening" will bring you to your knees - this is the most progressive and ambitious song Enslaved have ever written. Let me also add that it's their best song to date.

Enslaved's journey to greatness has had, so far, two highest points: Below the Lights and Isa. Ruun and Vertebrae developed concepts first mastered on Isa, at the cost of abandoning some of the band's root values - musical heaviness and aggression. Excellent as they are, the previous two releases display a somewhat tenderer side of Enslaved. Axioma Ethica Odini successfully alloys the old style with the new direction. Enslaved sounds angry and heavy like 15 years ago, but at the same time they're more progressive than ever. Keyboards work stealthily, yet steadily, lending the songs majestic depth. Sparsely, but wisely used clean vocals break the wall of sound with intriguing, haunting melodies. Unique guitar style permeates all riffs, imbuing them with a peculiar oddity that only Enslaved possesses. This album is a perfect connection between the old and the new Enslaved. It's also a perfect stepping stone to an even more stellar career.

The beginning of the 1990's brought us plenty of excellent black metal bands: Mayhem, Enslaved, Emperor, Satyricon, Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal, to name just the essential classic few who defined black metal for at least two decades. Some of them ceased to be, some of them are still active. But out of all those that are around, Enslaved stands as THE major force. Not only in black metal, but extreme metal in general. The bravest, the most creative and inventive. The closest to what very few are privileged to achieve - musical immortality.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9


 



Written on 30.09.2010 by Writes overly honest and totally subjective reviews when fancy strikes him. Which is not often. Which is probably good, all things considered.

Guest review by
ponderer
Rating:
2.9
Here we are again. I say that because Enslaved are beating the proverbial "Nordic Black Metal" horse to death. It seems like this is becoming a standard out of the Northern European Black Metal scene these days. Scary makeup, growling vocals, droning guitars, and a complete lack of direction other than to throw in some "evil" lyrics. Like anyone will ever go as far as Mercyful Fate did in the 80's lyrically? Doubtful, and I haven't seen anyone do it yet.

Read more ››
published 12.12.2010 | Comments (123)

Guest review by
Metren
Rating:
7.0
It is almost certainly true that in each professional musician's life - if they are passionate and serious about their art - comes a point, when they become almost too good at what they do and the result is an album that doesn't take very many risks or doesn't include any truly mind-blowing melodies, riffs, solos, etc. For Enslaved, that point of becoming too good to take risks came with 2010's Axioma Ethica Odini.

Few albums will impress as highly on the first listen as this one, but that's not necessarily a good thing when it comes to (extreme) metal. An initial reaction of "I don't quite get it yet, but it's interesting" holds much more promise of an album becoming a true classic than does "OMG! This is awesome!"

Read more ››
published 20.08.2016 | Comments (24)


Comments

Comments: 70   Visited by: 724 users
30.09.2010 - 23:52
DerRozzengarten
Odysseus
Great review, loved the album how much further can these guys go?!
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Dec. 30, 1334.

...And the whiskey and wine entered our veins when blood was too weak to carry on.
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01.10.2010 - 01:28
Introspekrieg
Totemic Lust
Quote:
You will be captivated by the majestic beginning of "Giants," slowly thickening, sinister buildup to the madness of "Waruun," or the mellow beginning of "Night Shift."

*Night Sight

Great review, although I didn't find Vertebrae to be that bad, this album certainly blows it away.
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01.10.2010 - 04:54
atma vichara
Vertebrae was indeed an impressive album !!! But Axioma Ethica Odini brings back the Ruun times of Enslaved !! \m/ \m/
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01.10.2010 - 06:26
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Damn girl, you getting all the high profile shizzle. You identified Isa and Below The Lights as the band's highlights so that means the rest of the review is in order and my in my drunkeness I won't have to read it
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01.10.2010 - 06:30
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Actually reading the first paragraph you've nailed Enslaved on the head. I've always found each new album more than one square meal to digest in one session; far too many layers and nuances.
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01.10.2010 - 06:41
BitterCOld
Gringo
Nice work with the review. i liked ISA and Ruun, really liked Vertebrae a lot... but after about six spins through, i think this quite possibly could be my favorite Enslaved album.

nice mix of continued progress while culling the best elements of their impeccable discography. aggressive vocal and guitar tones coupled with a ramped up tempo on some songs capture the aggression of their earlier works, where parts of the opening track yield shades of "As Far Swept Clean The Earth" (my fave Enslaved song) and several weird moments akin to "Monumension"...

really loving this album.
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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01.10.2010 - 11:06
Mikyz
Spot on review, on this album Enslaved proved once again their musical maturity and genius. Personally, I never expected this release to be on par or even better than Below the Lights and Isa, fortunately they blew me away with this progressive masterpiece.
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Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.
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01.10.2010 - 13:05
oroboros
'Waruun' has got some of the most haunting growls i hv heard.
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01.10.2010 - 14:56
Edmund Fogg
Am I the only one jealous of their talent.Talk about a band that is popular for all the right reason.Damn the album sounds good
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You cannot sedate all the things you hate - MM
The Observer is the source of reality - Bloom
God damn it!! What did Diddy didn't do? - Satan
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01.10.2010 - 16:14
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
@grospwele, nope, you're not

btw, just got hold of the special edition which includes heavy 7" containing new versions of Jotunblood and Migration.

Absolutely stunning album this. Contender for album of the year together with the new Mar De Grises.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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01.10.2010 - 17:36
MeloDeathViking
You're review is spot on. Lightning is by far my favorite song from them, it's just fucking brilliant. This may very well be my favorite release of the year so far.
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"I am not superstitious, but I'm a little 'stitious." - Michael Scott
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01.10.2010 - 18:18
Fat & Sassy!
Nomcat
Your first paragraph pretty much describes any good progressive album... which is an understatement for this album. This album is really, REALLY good. Probably the first Enslaved album that had me hooked after one listen. And yeah Lightening *is* FUCK AWESOME. \m/
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"Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is THE BEST..." ____Frank Zappa
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01.10.2010 - 19:36
Enemy of Reality
Agree with the review. One of the best of 2010.
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02.10.2010 - 13:48
Merchant of Doom
I do like the new Enslaved very much, but... I just find it too mainstream! Or should we call it "maturity"? They got rid of all the "weirdness" of Vertebrae, the melodies are polished - "perfect" I would say - the production is fantastic, the performance impeccable. It's heavy, but approachable at the same time. Where are they going to go after this one? Don't get me wrong. It's one of the best albums of 2010 for sure, but I can't help thinking that we lost them forever...
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02.10.2010 - 14:04
Daniell
_爱情_
Especially the harsh vocals are extremely approachable.
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Now loving:
Naglfar - I Am Vengeance
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Depeche Mode - Going Backwards
Flotsam & Jetsam - Forbidden Territories
Immolation - When the Jackals Come
Suffocation - Your Last Breaths
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02.10.2010 - 14:28
Merchant of Doom
Written by Daniell on 02.10.2010 at 14:04

Especially the harsh vocals are extremely approachable.


I would have thought that a reviewer (albeit a biased one) would be able to read other people's comments properly... but I was wrong, obviously...
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02.10.2010 - 14:42
Daniell
_爱情_
So we both misunderstand each other. Let me put it in a non-sarcastic way:
This album isn't more approachable than Vertebrae or Ruun. The two previous releases were much less "weird" as you put it.
Opinions differ, so let's not fight here...
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Now loving:
Naglfar - I Am Vengeance
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Depeche Mode - Going Backwards
Flotsam & Jetsam - Forbidden Territories
Immolation - When the Jackals Come
Suffocation - Your Last Breaths
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02.10.2010 - 15:00
Merchant of Doom
Well, I think it is more "approachable" (or mainstream, if you like), in the sense that it's much more streamlined, less varied and more one-dimensional than its predecessors. Seems to me they just wanted to simplify things, get on with things. Songs are big and monolithic and the production far too polished. If I can make a comparison with another band (which I love too), they've turned into a black metal version of Opeth.. shame... I'm afraid they've lost their edge for me...
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02.10.2010 - 15:03
Daniell
_爱情_
Their new "edge" is good enough for me
----
Now loving:
Naglfar - I Am Vengeance
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Depeche Mode - Going Backwards
Flotsam & Jetsam - Forbidden Territories
Immolation - When the Jackals Come
Suffocation - Your Last Breaths
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02.10.2010 - 15:10
Merchant of Doom
Written by Daniell on 02.10.2010 at 15:03

Their new "edge" is good enough for me



you are easily pleased...
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02.10.2010 - 15:14
Daniell
_爱情_
It seems to me that your impassable criteria for really good music is its "unfriendliness" to the listener. The moment something starts to sound too polished (Enslaved doesn't in my opinion), you become concerned/disappointed. It's of course up to you, but you miss out on too much good music this way.

As for me being easily pleased. I enjoy a lot of music, and a lot of genres. I also enjoy non-metal bands like, foe instance, Pink Floyd, or Porcupine Tree, or Dire Straits, or Massive attack. Polished sound doesn't disqualify music in my eyes. First and foremost, I want music to be good and engaging. I don't give a fuck about how polished or abrasive it is.
----
Now loving:
Naglfar - I Am Vengeance
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Depeche Mode - Going Backwards
Flotsam & Jetsam - Forbidden Territories
Immolation - When the Jackals Come
Suffocation - Your Last Breaths
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02.10.2010 - 15:42
Merchant of Doom
Ah, ok, I can see why Axioma is extreme enough for you... I was just questioning their reason to become a black metal carbon copy of Opeth, the rest is just your (misguided, in my opinion) assumptions on what I was trying to say... and BTW, I think you missed the bit "I like the new Enslaved very much"...
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02.10.2010 - 15:54
Daniell
_爱情_
That bit is an effort to fend off picky pricks like me, clearly a failed one

"Extreme enough"? No, it's not extreme enough. It's good music, regardless of how extreme it is.
Anaal Nathrakh is extreme. But it also is quite poor musically. Coffins is extreme, and also plain cool to listen to. Funeralium is extreme, the vocals take care of it. Wormphlegm is extreme in every aspect, it's the most "evil" sounding band in my opinion. I could go on, but I hope you do get my message. I don't expect mainstream from every band, I just don't see polished sound as a flaw.
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Now loving:
Naglfar - I Am Vengeance
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Depeche Mode - Going Backwards
Flotsam & Jetsam - Forbidden Territories
Immolation - When the Jackals Come
Suffocation - Your Last Breaths
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02.10.2010 - 16:07
Merchant of Doom
I don't think we will ever agree on this one... time will tell!
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03.10.2010 - 13:32
Deadsoulman
Lemmyng
The opening riff of Ethica Odini sounds uncannily like the opening riff of April Ethereal on My Arms, Your Hearse. I noticed that yesterday.

If it stands the test of time, the album itself may very well become my favourite by Enslaved. I really enjoy the contrast clean vocals / fast music and the songwriting is really solid and more focused than on the previous three albums. It will certainly end up in my top 3 of the year. Possibly even a strong contender for the top spot.
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03.10.2010 - 13:34
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Deadsoulman on 03.10.2010 at 13:32

It will certainly end up in my top 3 of the year. Possibly even a strong contender for the top spot.


Same here. So far it's Enslaved, Nevermore and Drudkh.
----
Now loving:
Naglfar - I Am Vengeance
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Depeche Mode - Going Backwards
Flotsam & Jetsam - Forbidden Territories
Immolation - When the Jackals Come
Suffocation - Your Last Breaths
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03.10.2010 - 13:45
Deadsoulman
Lemmyng
Written by Daniell on 03.10.2010 at 13:34

Written by Deadsoulman on 03.10.2010 at 13:32

It will certainly end up in my top 3 of the year. Possibly even a strong contender for the top spot.


Same here. So far it's Enslaved, Nevermore and Drudkh.


For me it would be Enslaved, Throes Of Dawn, Mar De Grises/October Falls/Drudkh/Misery Index (can't decide which one yet).
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03.10.2010 - 13:47
Daniell
_爱情_
Damn, I forgot about Mar De Grises...
----
Now loving:
Naglfar - I Am Vengeance
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Depeche Mode - Going Backwards
Flotsam & Jetsam - Forbidden Territories
Immolation - When the Jackals Come
Suffocation - Your Last Breaths
Loading...
03.10.2010 - 20:02
hahabuhu
Insightful indeed! I'll be checking out all of your other reviews now. That first paragraph says it all so well on the subject of musical discovery and a sound digestive system. For me this albums makes six top quality releases since Monumension where I came in. Hard to think of a match in consistency coming from any other direction.
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04.10.2010 - 00:27
advent
Very ordinary album , musicianship could be the only powerful aspect on this album , anyway they play it safe and nothing had impressed me , especially songwriting
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