Review by Adam M on October 16, 2012.
Enslaved return to the fold with another quality album in "RIITIIR". The band is taking a more progressive and spacey direction on this album. The songs are given more room to breathe with an increased song length and looser structures overall. This allows the band to continue to evolve in a positive and interesting direction and shows that there is no sign of them bowing down to the mainstream or simplifying their sound in any manner.
This album may appeal to a different brand of people than the last one, however. It doesn’t have the initial knockout impact of "Axioma Ethica Odini" and requires more multiple listens to further digest the more off tangent nature of the material. There are many twists and turns that need further investigation to become entranced with overall. However, this album also doesn’t have as many highlight tracks as the last album. The album opener 'Thoughts Like Hammers' is a far cry from the storming beginning that 'Ethica Odini' was to its predecessor. There is a lot of material to like on "RIITTIIR", but it will still only end up being one of the better albums of the year instead of the best album of the year like the "Axioma Ethica Odini". It’s difficult to find a highlight song, but the last song 'Forsaken' is definitely a standout much like the closing one 'Lightning' was on the previous album. It features some more subtle moments combined with more grandiose ones and results in an excellent way to close the album.
Overall, this album is a grower and excellent addition to the Enslaved disography, but it also has a few releases that surpass it within their discography as well.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 9 out of 10