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Axioma Ethica Odini

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 15, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: May 15, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nuclear Blast America
  • ASIN: B003XQE0RC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,962 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Chris Dalton on October 1, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I will be brief here. "Axioma Ethica Odini" is hands-down the finest Enslaved album since "Below the Lights." It virtually crushes the three albums that preceded it.

As odd as it may sound, there is not that much new here. Enslaved have been far beyond the leading edge of prog/black metal now for almost a decade. Each album has offered a mix of '70s progressive rock, bizarre Voivod riffing, black metal obliteration, etc. The same holds true on this release, just everything has been tightened up immeasurably.

Jens Bogren was brought in to mix the record. He is responsible for the skull-crushing sound that can be found on the latest albums by Opeth and Amon Amarth. Possibly the only current metal producer who gets a massive, professional sound, particularly crafted to each band, that doesn't sound compressed and brickwalled into the absurd noise found on so many major heavy releases.

The vocals have had particular attention paid to them this time. The ever-improving clean vocals have advanced markedly and Bogren gets an absolutely phenomenal sound from Grutle Kjellson's harsh vox, guttural bellows and shrieks; swirling around one another approaching the heights of Mikael Akerfeldt's genre-defining performance at the end of "Blackwater Park."

Enslaved have been guilty in the past of throwing whacked-out riffs together in a seemingly random fashion, having songs go on too long or randomly switching between clever parts at the most inappropriate moment. "AEO" finds the songwriting tighter and more succinct than it has been in ages, even though many of the tracks are around the seven minute mark.

And of last note, I feel as though the band have not performed with this much ease and confidence since "Mardraum" roughly a decade ago.
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I've been an Enslaved fan for a while and AEO has to be one of my all time favorites from the band. Absolutely haunting passages give way to insane black metal brutality. Every song on here is brilliant. My favorite is Giants. An amazing album from an amazing band. Perfect production also. Recommended.
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With AXIOMA ETHICA ODINI, Enslaved moved back to a heavier, riffing sound after moving the furthest in a progressive direction with VERTEBRAE (2008), reinvigorating the thread from old school black metal that had been reduced on recent albums, and this made some fans happy. Personally, I think all their albums since BELOW THE LIGHTS (2003) have been excellent, but this one certainly has a classic metal sound, building on what the band had done to this point. Once again, Ivar Bjornson's writing is fantastic, and here he adds not only riffs but melody to what had come before.

This was the final in the string of four Enslaved albums to win Norway's Spellemannprisen (Spellemann Prize), the equivalent of the Grammy, for best metal album -- ISA/2005, RUUN/2006, VERTEBRAE/2008, and AXIOMA ETHICA ODINI/2010. The title (The Ethical Axiom of Odin in English) indicates the Norse spirituality that Enslaved have been exploring, and the booklet including all the lyrics is well worth reading -- sure you can just listen, but this is also music that has something to say.

*** *** ***

After their beginning as an early Norwegian black metal band, Enslaved began to innovate, pioneering with others what became known as viking metal, incorporating the music and themes of Norway's pre-Christian heritage into a morphing black metal framework.

With BELOW THE LIGHTS (2003) they arrived at the pinnacle of their progressive evolution. It is a hard-hitting metal album, but throughout are found progressive elements -- synthesizer, acoustic guitar, and Viking chanting -- that make it unique and visionary.
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Is it prog metal or black metal? Does the distinction matter? With "Axioma Ethica Odini," Enslaved answer with a resounding "no." It truly does not matter what genre category one applies to the band when they write songs of such impact and resonance. Grutle's vocals stay true to the black metal archetype, and his voice is in as fine a form as ever - he is the definition of visceral, cutting through your stereo like a battle axe. Herbrand Larsen (on keyboards) consistently contributes great clean vocals (Night Sight being a tremendous example). On guitar, Ivar and Ice Dale sound better than ever (and deliver the RIFFS!), and Cato is tight on the drums.

None of this should surprise Enslaved fans, but I have to say that the band has exceeded my expectations with this album. I never doubted this mighty horde, but didn't know if this record would be a masterpiece. Based upon this aural argument, one would do well to take ethical cues from the great Mr. Odin. This is a serious contender for my favorite album of 2010.
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I really can't even begin to do this album justice with whatever description I might give it. This is something that needs to be experienced in order to call your meager human existence complete. This is bigger than whatever else you're doing right now. Forsake any overtime at work, progress on your college thesis, work on that TB vaccine you're a week from completing - this is what matters right now if you've not heard this album.

As someone who has followed the "underground" for over a decade now (still a youngin', I know) I have to say this is the most compelling album I've heard from this legendary band. This album did not leave rotation in my vehicle for about a month. That amounted to at least a dozen plays, and you know what? It never got tiring. Not once. The only reason I swapped it out for something else was because I am very much backlogged on my music listening. Still, considering the average playtime an album gets from me before I move on, this greatly exceeded that by several multiples.

If you have any love for Metal, for progressive music, for any music which is innovative and entirely original, which is superbly crafted, please check out this album. I recommend this to you only for your own benefit. No, screw that. I recommend this album because humanity is on the brink of disappearing into a pit of it's own s*** and this band is one of the few remaining reasons it shouldn't be allowed to do so.
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