Enslaved have become one of my favorite prog metal bands. Yes their roots are very much in black metal and viking metal but as they have matured, their albums have gotten more and more progressive. I thought this would be a good way to get more people into this amazing band. I am only doing their English speaking albums. This is not because I don’t like bands that sing in other languages. This is more because their earlier albums just weren’t very prog. So here are the rankings!
8. Monumension (2001)
This album was their first to be sung in English and it still has much more to do with viking and black metal. It’s a solid album and does point the direction which they would be going but it’s far from the path of prog.
7. Below the Lights (2003)
This is really the album that brought the prog influences into play. The songs are stronger and the playing is even tighter. “The Crossing” is a great epic.
6. Ruun (2006)
5. Isa (2004)
These two albums flip-flop for me. They are the first two classic albums for the band. I tend to prefer “Isa” simply for the 12 minute “Neogenesis” alone. “Ruun” didn’t really progress enough from “Isa” but it is a very consistent album.
4. Vertebrae (2008)
“Vertebrae” is a LOCK at number 4 and honestly it can even slip upward to 3 for me but NEVER lower. This album has some amazing songs. Ivar’s songwriting had really matured by this point and the album really has a Floydian undercurrent to it.
3. In Times (2016)
This album deserves to be higher but the problem is that I have a special love for the two albums that preceded it. The title track, “Daylight” and “Building With Fire” rank among my favorite Enslaved songs. Like the top 2 albums, I consider this one perfection.
2. Axioma Ethica Odini (2010)
It’s hard to not rank this album at #1 because like “In Times,” it is perfect as well. “Ethica Odini” kicks it off and rips your head off. “Giants,” “Night Sight,” and “Lightening” are three of my favorite songs by them. Just amazing stuff.
1. RIITIIR (2012)
I am giving the nod to “RIITIIR” because not only does it have some of my favorite tracks in “Thoughts Like Hammers,” “Roots of the Mountain,” and the epic “Forsaken.” It also has my favorite Enslaved song, “Death In the Eyes of Dawn.” That’s the deciding factor!
If you are a fan, I’d love to know your list. If you are unfamiliar with Enslaved, see how this list works for you. I’d love to know the outcome.