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Enslaved – The Sleeping Gods (EP)

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I think I’ve made peace with the whole Scion thing. Yes, it’s weird to see the Enslaved logo with the Scion one looming nearby. And, boy, was the press release in my inbox surreal. It was signed by three publicists at once – Scion’s in-house one, its outside one, and Nuclear Blast’s. (I also got a separate email from another publicist at one of those entities. The full-court press is on here.) You could practically see the emails flying between legal departments. I never thought that one message could contain both the phrases “Ice Dale” and “urban utility vehicle”.

But the future is streaming music that will probably be subsidized by ads. We’re halfway there. You can download the Scion-financed The Sleeping Gods EP for free below.

This is definitely an EP. It’s just a collection of songs. There’s a “proggy later Enslaved” song, a Viking-tinged thrasher, a Burzum-meets-Tangerine-Dream synth interlude, a post-punk number (“Nordlys” – hear it below), and a ponderous acoustic ditty. Befitting of an EP, the production is slightly rawer and looser than Axioma Ethica Odini, which was so compressed, it practically wore a corset. Unfortunately, the download contains no lyrics. So non-Norwegian speakers are out of luck in that department. I suppose that I should align my expectations with the price: zero.

Digby Pearson of Earache recently discussed whether or not Google just buy the entire recording industry. The post is worth reading. I haven’t followed college football since I was a kid, so when I see that the Citrus Bowl is now the Capital One Bowl and the Peach Bowl is now the Chick-fil-A Bowl, I get a little sad. Mike Hill of Tombs recently posted about a documentary about a city that sold its name for 60 days in exchange for $25,000. This is the way of the world, I know. People need to eat. Money is power. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Maybe I haven’t made peace with the whole Scion thing, or even the concept of a “music industry”. The phrase “necessary evil” comes to mind.

— Cosmo Lee

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