Review by Allan on April 20, 2002.
In 1997 after the bands last innovative and brutal album “Frost”, the band released an experimental and epic metal recording titled simply “Eld”. With the sad departure of talented drummer Trym Torson, the band brought in drummer Harald Helgeson. Not letting a loss let them miss a beat, Enslaved continued on with their musical vision and released one of the bands greatest albums.
The album opens with the amazing song '793 (Slaget Om Lindisfarne)'. Like Enslaved has been known to do with their openings, it’s a long song reaching at around fifteen minutes. Its grand and epic atmosphere is great and sets the tone for the rest of the album. You’ll find Grutle Kjellson’s chant-like clean vocals here, as you do in various other places on the album. The album moves on to 'Hordalendingen' where you see a slower version of 'Frost' show up. The band shows their black metal roots, like they always will do even in the most recent albums, more or less. Not so much like the opening track, you catch mostly black rasps in the vocal department here. A little genre restricting, possibly, but they fit the music very well. Next up, in the same manner as the previous song, is 'Alfablot'. This song picks up with the clean vocals and some keyboards again, often using the two at the same time creating a nice mood. A nice variation between what the band has already moved over. Next up is a combination of the second and third tracks, 'Kvasirs Blod'. Nothing is new here that we haven’t seen, but as always it’s excellent. The band touches a bit of new ground next with 'For Lenge Siden'. The track has a nice groove moving with it the entire way through. This is definitely a highlight of the album. Finally, the album closes with two excellent tracks to make the album complete. The entire album is very consistent, but it isn’t an album where songs mix and match to create an indistinguishable mess.
Bottom Line: From beginning until end, “Eld” is an amazing piece of work. It’s an album full of great things that stands alone as one of the greatest Viking metal releases of the 1990’s. You surely can’t go wrong by listening to this.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 10 out of 10