Review ENSLAVED ‘Caravans to the Outer Worlds’ – EP

Despite pandemic and lockdowns, there has been a lot of news from Enslaved in the last year and a half. On the one hand there is the latest studio album ‘Utgard’ with all its twists and turns, followed by four live albums and the ‘Cinematic Tour 2020’ boxset.

To keep the momentum, the five guys from Norway worked on an EP, entitled ‘Caravans to the Outer Worlds’. Looking at all the struggles of today, a journey to outer space sounds like something tempting and looking on the recent billionaire financed space travels such a journey isn’t as unrealistic as it was some decades ago.

However, Enslaved delivers with ‘Caravans to Outer Worlds’ the soundtrack for such an endeavor. Theme-wise the four songs on this release are connected to the storyline of departure, leaving a hopeless and desolate world behind. It’s about being a part of the bigger picture and exploring the unknown.

Musically, Enslaved is always evolving their sound. The Norwegians found the basic signature sound, rooted in black metal with a progressive touch that got stronger over time. The new EP reflects this journey well and it starts with the extremely mighty title track. Listening to the song for the first time gave me an impression of controlled chaos, a wild ride with heavy riffs and a lot of strength. With the experience the band has, they never get ahead of themselves, also not with this song. The moment when things get really wild, they pull it back to a more familiar soundscape, just to build up for the next blast.

‘Intermezzo I – Lonnlig. Gudlig’ is a three minutes instrumental with a cinematic vibe and darkness captured in its expression. ‘Ruun II – The Epitaph’ is picking up the patterns of the interlude and transfers it into an epic song with some folk-based references. ‘Intermezzo II – The Navigator’ marks already the ending of this EP. The final track starts calm and slowly gains power along the way. Tension is growing and instead of a blast, it is the break towards the calm expression from the beginning that also ends this track.

‘Caravans to Outer Worlds’ is a good way to continue a year with many Enslaved releases. The songs are covering all the sound aspects of the band in a really good fashion with tracks that are thrilling and spread their blackened wings more often that just for one listening session.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Caravans to the Outer Worlds
  2. Intermezzo I – Lonnlig. Gudlig.
  3. Ruun II – The Epitaph
  4. Intermezzo II – The Navigator

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: October 1st, 2021

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