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Enslaved – The Sleeping Gods - Thorn album review

Progressive Norse metallers Enslaved gather their recent rarities with new compilation

Enslaved compilation album cover 2016

Enslaved have produced a rich catalogue of music over 25 years, every release announcement sending the faithful into frenzy. Some dedicated collectors may have acquired a copy of the extremely rare EPs released between Axioma Ethica Odini and Riitiir (2010-2011), but for everyone else, this compilation of the seven songs therein provides another insight into their boundless creativity.

Co-produced by band fonders Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson, the mystifying powers of the runes ripple through the Norwegian-sung Heimvegen, the post-punk chill of Nordlys, and the Wardruna-esque title track, a rhythmically hypnotic song celebrating Norse heritage. This may not be the most cohesive album, but its striking packaging and the interesting stylistic explorations from song to song – which even delve back to Enslaved’s formative Bathory worship – make it not just for the completist.