Norwegian black/extreme metal band Enslaved released their fourteenth album E in 2017. The title of the album represents the initial letter of the band’s name. To promote the album as well as return to North American soil, Enslaved announced their tour as the headlining act of the 2018 Decibel Magazine tour. The tour also featured Khemmis, Myrkur, and Wolves in the Throne Room. The Observatory in Santa Ana, California would serve as the final stop on the tour on this rainy Saturday night.
The venue had a nice turnout of metal heads that braved the rain and plenty of Enslaved fans were seen in the audience wearing their merch. The lights went out and the crowd went crazy as Enslaved made their way to the stage and started the show with the first track from the new album, Storm Son. A rather lengthy opening song at eleven minutes. Due to most of Enslaved‘s songs being long, they are usually limited to short sets which is why it is often better to see Enslaved on their own headlining tour. The next song played was Roots of the Mountain from their 2012 album, RIITIIR. Another lengthy song at just over nine minutes. Singer/bassist Grutle Kjellson would unleash his growls at the audience with precise to the albums. Kjellson thanked the fans for being at the show and spoke to them about how the band started out in 1991 with guitarist Ivar Bjørnson and himself. To celebrate the occasion, Enslaved played a track from their 1994 debut album, Vikingligr Veldi (Icelandic meaning roughly Glorious Viking Square). That song was Vetrarnótt (“Winternight“). Kjellson also made note on how they had released their previous album In Times and decided to play one of the best songs on the album, One Thousand Years of Rain which was also fitting seeing as how it had been raining all day. Enslaved went back to the new album and played one of the album’s best songs, Sacred Horse. For the majority of the show, the band was plagued by the venue’s red and orange lights often make it hard to see them. As to why the venue thinks it’s a good look for the band for most of the night is a mystery and should be avoided by all venues. With a short set, Enslaved played their most popular track Isa as a finale and even brought out the band Khemmis on stage with them to sing along. Enslaved finished the song, thanked the audience once again for coming out, then left the stage. Enslaved are very talented musicians and lyricists and should be adored by metal heads, especially if you’re a fan of Scandinavian metal bands.