I was kind of surprised to see Enslaved release an EP at this stage in their career. From what I’ve heard about this release, it was agreed to a long time ago but time and commitments prevented it from happening. Now, in 2011, they’ve finally gotten around to doing it. The Thorn EP consists of two completely new songs, “Disintigrator” and “Striker,” both of which are around five and a half minutes in length. Musically, this is keyboard-heavy Black/Viking Metal that stays pretty much in the mid-paced range. It’s kind of unadventurous, if you ask me, especially “Striker.” The snarling vocals are fairly restrained and the music is best described as sterile. Maybe it’s the production, but both tracks lack feeling. The vocals may snarl but there’s no musical bite here. The keyboards, which would have normally given the tracks a little atmosphere, are bland and lifeless. I would be a bit more forgiving if this had been a band’s first release, but how many albums has Enslaved done? How many years have they been around? This is a veteran band, not a bunch of 17 year-old kids putting out their first demo tape! Thorn might be one for the collectors, but if you’re looking for kick-ass Metal music, this isn’t it.
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