On Mardraum (or "Nightmare" in Norwegian) Enslaved makes use of many new musical influences and approaches to their somewhat unique brand of Scandinavian black metal, most often called Viking metal. Some quasi-progressive riffs and arrangements that call up memories of '70s rock replace the near-constant, almost white-noise sonic attack of Enslaved's earlier (and generally better-recognized) recordings. While perhaps a little out of focus, Mardraum holds its own against the better recognized Frost and Blodhemn, yet the 2000 release never goes too far, leaving fans of the group out of step with their music. Despite some extreme metal overkill, this record has a feel and determination all of its own that fans of the genre (not just the band) should find quite interesting. While Frost is generally considered the strongest Enslaved record, an argument can be made for Mardraum with its skillful musicianship and frantic arrangements.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jason Anderson