E opens with a surprising twist that captures the dissonant mood change between scales jarringly. It’s definitely a WTF moment as when listening to it first through Winamp it had me double checking my browser that I hadn’t left YouTube on. What they did was catch my attention and raised an interesting question about expectations in music (a topic for another article entirely.)
While black metal and its derivative genres are notoriously dissonant the first track shifts from being an alluring guitar piece to the familiar guise that Enslaved have been practising for thirteen albums with one fell swoop. Actively defining this album as an dichotomy of beauty and horror while foreshadowing the blissful brutality that proceeds the errant introduction.
What’s more is that the lyrics and themes are just as complex as the often breathtaking songs. Centred around the meaning of the titles’ figurative symbolism the songs are loosely connected around Odinism and each offer insight into the compelling Norse attitude exacted by the band. Setting the foundations for this almost prog album it cements E with a strong structure to build up from.
However far apart the juxtaposition of contrasting moods appear at the beginning with a clear heading they soon warp around each other gracefully. With the album blending beauty, mystery and horror like they’re natural occurrences often found in the same place and time. Even in harsh tones Enslaved create an awesome and enigmatic impetus through their music while balancing brutality with grace on a machine head.