Recorded in the first quarter of 2008, mixed by Evil Joe Barresi (Tool, Queens of the Stone Age), mastered by the legendary George Marino (Metallica, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin) at Sterling Sound, Vertebrae was produced by band members Ivar Bjørnson, … see full wiki
I can no longer count the number of masterpieces in Enslaved's voluminous output. _Vertebrae_ may or may not be this band's finest work, but in either case it is a soul-stirring journey through a band unique vision of metal. As much as each album changes in subtle ways, the "Enslaved sound" that has been tempered since the stylistic shift of _Mardraum_ is still there and powerful as ever. It works the same way with other metal bands that are REALLY special, like the Opeth sound, the Meshuggah sound, etc. As a reference point, I'd say this is like the sonic explorations of _Monumension_ (many albums ago) with the tighter metal of _Ruun_, the previous disc. The heaviness is perhaps...softened?... because the purpose seems not to rock hard so much as elevate through ingenius riffs and machine-guns drums and fastidiously placed sound effects and synthesizers to something between simple Floydian trippiness and profound mystical experience. And even so, it remains awesome exciting from a metal standpoint as well, so the "softening" is only relative. How many metal bands can accomplish all that at once? There probably isn't a single metal band with so much darn great productivity.