Norwegian black metal stalwarts Enslaved have cooled down a bit since forming in 1991. But unlike many aging rockers, mellowing out has actually helped make them one of the better groups to emerge from the fertile Scandinavian metal scene. Last year’s Vertebrae is its latest album to transcend the black metal template. Vertebrae tones down the heaviness in favor of Pink Floyd–like atmosphere and ethereal melodies. Any number of progressive rock bands could be cited as influences behind this more mature sound, perhaps even tour headliner Opeth, which like Enslaved, makes music that’s unfailingly cinematic in scope—as majestic as it is brutal.
ENSLAVED PERFORMS WITH OPETH 7 P.M. AT THE 9:30 CLUB, 815 V ST. NW. $25. (202) 265-0930.