BY Laura Wiebe TaylorPublished Oct 28, 2008

This latest opus from Enslaved is a study in oppositions, especially the contrast between light and openness from darkness and claustrophobia. Intense more than heavy, Vertebrae uses black metal as punctuation, emphasizing the spacious complexity that characterizes most of the album. Vertebrae is also an active record, continually moving through one idea and onto the next, sounding one minute like a companion to Pink Floyd (for example), at another more in tune with Opeth, then Emperor and then one more twist leans toward Solefald. Still, Enslaved’s eclectic performance on Vertebrae, progressive rock and all, isn’t out of character or imitative. Instead, it unfolds as a further, deeper stage in the band’s adventurous development, mature contemplation and interrogation more so than angry catharsis, although there are still plenty of bitter emotions smouldering underneath.
(Nuclear Blast)

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