Those who have been following Norway's Enslaved over the last decade have seen their growth from a brutal Viking/black metal band to a much more progressive and experimental act. Sure, they still lay on the black metal style pretty thick, but with the addition of clean vocals to go along with their lethal growls, layers of keyboards, and acoustic guitar passages, the band has become a well rounded machine that has pulled in many more fans over the last few years. Return to Yggdrasil- Live in Bergen is a fantastic show filmed in Bergen on the Isa tour, that sees the band playing a fairly short yet effective set in front of a somewhat subdued crowd. The show is well shot and sounds great, as the band steamroll through classic pieces like "The Voices", "Lunar Force", "Jotonblod", and of course "Isa", "Ascension", and "The Crossing", plus a few other Enslaved staples. Bassist Grutie Kjellson commands center stage with his mighty Rickenbacker and black metal growls, surrounded by the twin guitar tandem of Ivar Bjornson & Arve Isdal, drummer Catto Bekkevold, and keyboard player Herbrand Larsen. Stig Sandbakk provides guest clean backing vocals and acoustic guitar for the gig. Featuring layers and layers of intense sound being provided by the mix of heavy riffs, tremelo picked textures, emotional leads, varied keyboard sounds, and a myriad of vocal styles, this is progressive extreme metal at its finest.
The bonus materials are fun, especially the behind the scenes footage from the bands European tour. Whole most of what is said is spoken in their native tongue, the drunken dancing out in the street in front of their tour bus is priceless. Enslaved come across as just a bunch of regular guys, having fun while enjoying their tour, and at no point does it look like things get too out of hand with this bunch. The interview with all the members is very interesting, especially when they talk about their influences, which include Slayer, Opeth, Gentle Giant, Yes, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Darkthrone, Pink Floyd, and more.
If you have ever wanted to see what progressive black metal sounds like at its most adventurous and live, definitely check this DVD out.
1) Bounded By Allegiance
3) The Voices
4) Lunar Force
7) Return to Yggdrasil
8) The Crossing
Bonus Features-Band Interview, Footage from the European Tour, Isa Music Video