'Live Retaliation '

MARK: 90/100


Quite an interesting dvd, Enslaved have produced their first work on this format. A dvd, actually, extremely complete and full of extra material for the fans made in order to know all the aspects of this legendary Norwegian band. As to the concert itself, this is the playlist of the show in Krakow: Intro, Convoys to Nothingness, Jotunblod, The Voices, As Fire Swept Clean the Earth, Heimdallr, Loke, Queen of Night, Mardraum, Ridicule Swarm, Wotan, Retribution For the Dead, Slaget I Skugen Bortenfor.
As you can see the songs played in this live come from a lot of Enslaved's albums from "Vikinglir Veldi" to "Below the Lights". The vikings are really in a good condition, and it's nice to see the images of Grutle Kjelson or Ivar Bjornson. It's also clear that the concept of the band is based on this live, which has good lights and sounds for the standards of Black metal (even though the music of this band cannot be limited within that definition), but the execution of the songs and the attitude let the viewer see to a garage-band attitude made of headbanging and the simply reproduction of the songs taken from the albums. In honor of truth, they often do little (or more evident as the beginning of "Jotunblod" for the drummer Dirge Rep) "mistakes" that give the gig a more realistic and human groove avoiding that sense of "fake and triggered" that surrounds many Black metal bands and not only. Very intensive the parts from the last albums, hypnotic and so 70's...actually not so suitable for a stage, but the Northmen are completely up to face with involvement also those parts. It's, anyway, strange seeing a band that has evolved so much it's music playing the first, fast and aggressive songs of their career. In particular are very expressive the final of "Convoys to Nothingness" in which a very 70's synth plays a sad and decadent outro, the groove of "The Voices", the simple originality of "As Fire Swept Clean the Earth", the energy of "Heimdallr" with his trill riffs and blastbeats (pay attention to the bored and arrogant expression of Dirge Rep that seems to think: "but why the Hell i'm playing this shit?" and Ivar's momentum, who seems to play guitar enjoying it very much), the "folk-funky" style of "Queen of Night", the instrumental "Mardraum" (perhaps one the best song played this night) that shows the keyboard and synth player with a strange "touch-synt" to create desperating screams; very captivating riffs and the martial rhytm of this song. Personally I appreciated the pureness of songs such as "Wotan", "Loke" or "Jotunblod". There's also an Autopsy cover called "Retribution for the Dead", that results as a huge stone on the stage with its more than slow mid tempos and riffs and, finally, a song taken from the legendary split with Emperor (1993). A due mention goes to the cameras, which permit several angles of view. The bonus audio contains a song called "Sleipnir" that has NEVER been released before, recorder in 2000, and other tracks such as "Svarte Vidder", "Wotan", "Jotunblod", and " Gylfaginning" taken from promotional tapes for the preproduction of their first album.So these versions where never released before. There's also a track called "Viking Metal" that was conceived just for the shows, recorded during the "Frost Tour" in 1995 and never released before. Not bad! The extra section, instead, contains an interesting interview (made by a man that speak English as a nigger and might've been voiced over) with Ivar, Grutle and Dirge Rep (that continues with his bored expressions) about their influences, the name 'Enslaved' (inspired by Demonaz of Immortal from their song "Enslaved in Rot"), about the drummers in the band, album most difficult to record, lyrics (where strangely Dirge Rep speaks about his vision of Ragnarok talking also about Crowley, showing that he can do interesting discussions too), and much more. There's also a biography with a page for every member (did you know Grutle is 29 his favourite song is "Freezing Moon" and Ivar 25 and he adores Pink Floyd and that when Enslaved started, Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson were 13 and 17 years old?), a discography with every cover album and informations, a photo gallery with private, promo, and concert shoots, desktop images, art gallery, web contacts, screen savers and the logo! BOX: -Great design, the booklet is a little bit Spartan but heck, you can't have it all. MENUS: -The intro menu is great. Good graphics, the best title music possible (the Outro from Monumension), easy to navigate. What a rich dvd! The only fault is the exclusion of tracks from "Eld", however it remains a must for fans, an interesting view for any real music lover, perhaps not too suitable for the medium Black metal fan.

JANICOT - 20th Sep. 2005

Current line-up:
MIvar Bjørnson - Guitars/Keyboards/Effects (Desekrator, ex-Borknagar, ex-Phobia (Nor), live session guitar Taake)
Arve Isdal - Lead Guitar (Malignant Eternal, Audrey Horne)
Grutle Kjellson - Vocals/Bass (Desekrator, ex-Phobia (Nor), guest for V:28)
Herbrand Larsen - Keyboard/Vocals
Cato Bekkevold - Drums (Demonic, ex-Ashes to Ashes, Sirius, ex-Red Harvest)

Official sites: http://www.enslaved.no/


-Nema Demo, 1991
Rehearsal 92 Demo, 1992
Yggdrasill Demo, 1992
Hordanes Land EP, 1993
Emperor/Hordanes Land Split, 1993
Vikingligr Veldi Full-length, 1994
Frost Full-length, 1994
The Forest Is My Throne/Yggdrasil Split, 1995
Eld Full-length, 1997
Blodhemn Full-length, 1998
Mardraum: Beyond The Within Full-length, 2000
Monumension Full-length, 2001
Below the Lights Full-length, 2003
Live Retaliation DVD, 2003
Isa Full-length, 2004
Return to Yggdrasill DVD, 2005
Ruun Full length, 2006