Review: Enslaved “Caravans To The Outer Worlds” [Nuclear Blast Records]

Review: Enslaved “Caravans To The Outer Worlds” [Nuclear Blast Records]

- in Reviews

Let’s get in our caravans for a trip through musical worlds. We’ll have a lot of adventures and hear all sorts of musical ideas along the way.

From the title track at the beginning, it’s impressive how many genres and ideas Enslaved managed to fit into one four tracks EP. Because the title track is a wonderfully odd song that can only be described as an intro with a weird, gnarly bass line, some super-fast riffs, high-pitched shrieks followed by clean singing, and a less heavy but no less fast music that turns into a sort of bluesy/folky guitar line somewhere in the last part. This is what makes me think that in this EP, the travel through worlds is symbolized by a travel through musical styles.

The musical exploration continues with instrumentals called “Intermezzo I” and “II”, and a track with vocals called “Ruun II: The Epitaph”. This one has a mysterious tone, with low-pitched, almost solemn singing, and a heavy guitar riff accompanied by a higher, eerie one. Much like the other track with vocals, this one has something special.

The instrumentals really sound like a band playing around with their instruments, in the best way possible. They go from musical idea to musical idea. In the first one, there’s the sound of a caravan rolling on a road, weird chanting or talking, sinister guitars and heavy bass, eerie little keyboard touches and the wind rushing. It manages to feel both big and inventive.

Then, the second one is fun with keyboards and guitars, also fast but still finding time to experiment with sounds, including calmer ones like a few piano notes, or strange keyboards noises.

As a whole, this is a really interesting collection of genres.  All these ideas put together in succession sounds varied and creative, rather than confused. But don’t over-think any of it, just let your mind travel with the music. It sounds good enough to have this effect on your mind.

I often say this when I review EPs, but this is the kind of record that I wish were longer, so I could hear more musical travels and tribulations. But the few material that is actually there is very good, and a nice introduction to a travel through worlds. This is something you really need to hear.

Release date: October 1, 2021

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