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Blodhemn by Enslaved
Released: Mar 1999
Label: Osmose Productions
Nineteen ninety-eight's Blodhemn extends Enslaved's streak of totally awesome album covers (especially Eld) and returns the band to a more traditional black metal style. With a constant onslaught of guitar walls and wrist-breaking drums, the album may not bear the shifts in style that identify Enslaved's earlier work, but the bizarro noises that open the album and then re-emerge during "Ansuz Astral" are reassuring reminders that the band is still kind of strange. "Urtical Gods" and the title cut are highlights, and Grutle Kjellson's throat rake vocals are tough as nails throughout.
Mike McGuirk