This album is often considered Enslaved's masterpiece from their progressive viking metal era. It is the culmination of what they had been building to for several years. Enslaved has become one of my favorite bands since I saw them in concert last spring and was thoroughly impressed.
The music retains the progressive elements that began to distinguish Enslaved from other Norwegian bands from the time period. It also remains rooted in black/viking metal for the most part, particularly where the vocals are concerned. This is one of the band's heavier albums from this stage in their career. It is also extremely melodic and powerful.
This is the album where everything came together for Enslaved. The progressive elements that had been becoming more and more prevalent over the years had materialized into a major area of the band's sound. Still, it featured enough of the old black metal aspects of the music to keep old time fans happy. This is quite possibly the band's masterpiece.
This album has a very well-deserved reputation in metal circles. It's not the most aggressive album, but it's not the most progressive either. The two sounds are in equal balance on this album. This is a terrific album by a very talented band.