because i was recently complaining about how uninterested i am in enslaved’s later ‘hard rock’ era, i decided to revisit the album that marked what i saw as their sudden, steep decline: isa. i just listened to it while doing the dishes. it’s an ok album that has a few moments i like quite a bit, but there’s tons of stuff i don’t like in between them. i give it maybe a 6/10, if i’m feeling positive.
however, i forgot that one of my favourite lines of all time appears in the title track — “a time to burn, a time to build.” i still love it. it pops up about 1:40 in the middle of the second verse, which seems like an odd place for something i find so powerful but i think it actually suits the intention of the line perfectly.
to me, the lyric is sort of a simple, old world norse take on ‘a time for everything.’ what i prefer about this version is the acknowledgement of the apparent chaos and destruction as part of the natural ebb and flow — no more, no less important. just part of the cycle. just a fact of life.
that’s why i like it appearing where it does, in the middle of the second verse. it’s like “this is no big deal. it’s just a simple truth. no need to get excited about it and make a chorus or focal point out of it.” to me, that inconspicuous placement of the lyric suits its theme: a quiet, confident acceptance of or indifference to these things beyond control, regardless of how pleasant or frightening they might be.
so even though i don’t like isa much, i’m glad i gave it another spin and was reminded of that powerful line. i hope i can remember it when our fucked up world erupts in utter bedlam in the not so distant future.
thanks, enslaved. now get dirge rep back on drums and make some more crazy psychedelic norse mythology-based death metal instead of the limp pink floyd-inspired bullshit you’ve been churning out for the last several albums.