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(Nuclear Blast)
Release Date: 28th September 2012

jools green

Jools Green

enslaved riitiir

Norwegian extreme Metal band Enslaved have always had a taste for the progressive and their twelfth release, 'RIITIIR', is no exception. The last twenty-one years have seen them continually develop and improve their sound and this latest offering is their best yet, each song carefully crafted and every aspect considered resulting in polished finish, but then I would expect no less.

The increasingly progressive edge to their sound makes this also their most listener friendly album to date. Clean vocals have played a much greater role in their songs since Herbrand joined in 2004 and continue to do so with 'RIITIIR', however the vocals are still dominated by Grutle's growl which keeps me happy. The psychedelic edge is still there also but maybe not as much as on 2010s 'Axioma Ethica Odini'.

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'RIITIIR' is awash with great riffs and melodies, but at the same time still has that powerful, exciting, blackened edge, very much in the same vein, again, as 'Axioma Ethica Odini'. Once more the song structures are very progressive, and shape up very much like a varied journey, filled with interest and atmosphere, the twists and turns of tempo evoking a broad spectrum of emotion. As a result, song lengths between five and eleven minutes work because your interest is fully maintained by the amount going on in each song.

Starting with 'Thoughts Like Hammers' which bursts open with chaotic distortion and roaring vocals.

On 'Death In The Eyes Of Dawn', Grutle's dirty vocals lend a sinister, haunting quality whilst a saddened feel is sensed from Herbrand's clean vocals.

'Veilburner' has a very progressive, synthesiser led opening which is laced with an abundance of crashing cymbals to add a very dramatic feel to the track.

Opening in a fast frantic manner, 'Roots Of The Mountain' has a slight blackened feel to it.

Although only five and a half minutes long, title track 'Riitiir' is intensely packed with a dark and tribal edge to the sound.

On 'Materal' the guitars and strong rhythmic drum beat give this track a very dark edge to it with the added bonus of a beautiful guitar solo midway through.

'Storm Of Memories' opens with a swirling, storm like amalgamation of vocal and instrumental sounds that gradually gathers momentum, building layers of sound as it progresses.

The final and longest track, 'Forsaken', opens with a haunting, distant, discordant piano before erupting into the dark atmospheric and exciting, marathon finale.

I have been privileged to listen to some excellent albums this year but to date, this is the best. Enslaved manage to blend the best elements of a progressive sound with the raw exciting aspects of black Metal.

Despite their long career and the level of excellence achieved in this album I still believe there is even better yet to come from this band. Every album seems to improve upon the previous and as yet they have shown no sign of reaching a musical plateau, their sound developing and evolving with every successive album.

'RIITIIR' will be released on 28th September on Nuclear Blast.




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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