Enslaved at Norway Rock Festival 2010
|Genres||Progressive metal, black metal, Viking metal|
|Labels||Deathlike Silence, Voices of Wonder, SPV, Osmose, Tabu, Relapse, The End, Candlelight, Nuclear Blast|
|Members|| Ivar Bjørnson |
|Past members||Cato Bekkevold|
Enslaved is a Norwegian extreme metal band formed by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson in Haugesund in June 1991. They are currently based in Bergen, Norway.Though the band's lineup has changed many times over the years, Bjørnson and Kjellson have been the sole constant members, and the lineup remained the same from 2004 to 2016. Following their 25th anniversary world tour, keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Herbrand Larsen departed from the band after 12 years and six albums. He has since been replaced by Håkon Vinje.
To date, they have released fourteen full-length studio albums; the most recent of which, E , was released in October 2017 on Nuclear Blast Records. The band's music draws heavily on the Viking cultural and religious heritage of their home country of Norway for inspiration, and most of the band's lyrics relate to Norse mythology.Though they began as a traditional black metal band their sound has undergone significant changes over time resulting in a more progressive sound. In 2014, Ivar Bjørnson and Einar Selvik (of Wardruna) were commissioned by the Norwegian government to create a musical piece in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian constitution. This was later released as a studio album in 2016, which also featured Kjellson on vocals.
Enslaved was formed in July 1991 by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson (also known as Kjetil Grutle) when they were 13 and 17 years old, respectively. The band name was inspired by an Immortal demo track, "Enslaved in Rot."After many line-up changes throughout their career, Bjørnson and Kjellson are the only remaining original members. By 2004 the line-up solidified with guitarist Arve "Ice Dale" Isdal, drummer Cato Bekkevold, and keyboardist/vocalist Herbrand Larsen.
Prior to forming Enslaved, Bjørnson and Kjellson had been playing in a death metal band called Phobia, but like many in the burgeoning extreme metal movement, they were looking for new sources of inspiration and expression.Though Enslaved began as a prototypical Norwegian black metal band in 1991, by 1993 they were incorporating song structures unusual for the genre; several of their earlier songs reach the ten-minute mark (their debut album, Vikingligr Veldi , has only one song that is under ten minutes). As such, the band has rejected the black metal label and prefers the term "extreme metal". Mardraum (2000) contained several multi-part epics such as "Større enn tid - Tyngre enn natt" and "Entrance – Escape". Several of the band's tracks (most prominently, "As Fire Swept Clean the Earth" from Below the Lights ) have used mellotron. Isa (2004) and Ruun (2006) show a marked departure from previous sounds, most notably with the inclusion of sharp dynamic shifts, and Bjørnson considers the former a turning point for the band. Following Ruun , in 2007–2008, Bjørnson, Kjellson, and Isdal collaborated with the Norwegian noise duo Fe-Mail under the name Trinacria.
Enslaved released the album Vertebrae in September 2008, their tenth studio album and their first on Nuclear Blast. Terrorizer Magazine named it the album of the year in 2008, notably above other metal releases such as Meshuggah's obZen and Opeth's Watershed .After touring Europe extensively, Enslaved embarked on a North American tour with the progressive death metal band Opeth in May 2009. The album is noted for its shift in its approach and its diverse sounds; Sammy O'Hagar from MetalSucks.net even says that "to call [Vertebrae] black metal would be quite a stretch" because "there’s an impressive depth to [it] that surpasses the sour misanthropy so often (and rightfully) associated with the genre", and furthermore describing their sound as "heavy and surprisingly soft, focused and curious, true to their roots and longing to forget them". The album's sound has been said to be akin to Pink Floyd's sound on a few occasions, as well as other black metal releases in a similar vein.
Enslaved released their eleventh studio album, Axioma Ethica Odini , on 27 September 2010 in Europe and the following day in North America.In 2011 Enslaved released two new EPs. The first EP, entitled The Sleeping Gods, which was produced in partnership with Scion Audio/Visual, was released on 10 May 2011 and made available as a free download consisting of 5 original tracks. The second EP, entitled Thorn, was released on 27 August 2011 in partnership with Soulseller Records in fulfillment of a decade-old agreement. The Thorn EP, released on seven-inch vinyl, was strictly limited to 1,000 copies and featured a more atmospheric sound than the band is currently known for. Enslaved started their 20th anniversary tour "Circling Above and Within North America Tour Part IV" in September 2011 with Alcest and Junius in the United States and Canada. An official tribute album called Önd – A Tribute was released on Pictonian Records in July 2012. It contains twenty covers from twenty bands (including Dordeduh, Fen, Kraków, Vreid and Wodensthrone) to celebrate the two first decades of Enslaved's career.
After having signed to Nuclear Blast in Europe, too, Enslaved released their 12th studio album, RIITIIR , on 28 September 2012 in Europe and 9 October in North America. The album received positive reviews from music critics.In 2013 they contributed to the book "Think like a rockstar" Tenk som en rockestjerne, written by Ståle Økland.
Enslaved released their 13th full-length studio album, In Times , on 10 March 2015 through Nuclear Blast.The album received positive reviews from music critics, with AllMusic's Thom Jurek noting that the band are "still pushing at the boundaries of the music that inspired them back in 1991 when guitarist Ivar Bjørnson and vocalist/bassist Grutle Kjellson (13 and 17 years old at the time) first formed the band." In 2016 the band celebrated their 25th anniversary with a series of exclusive shows and merchandise designs. Their Spinning Wheel Ritual tour across Europe with Ne Obliviscaris and Oceans of Slumber will take place from late September to early November. They also announced their plans to release a new compilation album on 11 November 2016, titled The Sleeping Gods – Thorn. The album compiles rare and experimental material from 2010-2011 which were previously available as two separate EPs released in 2011, The Sleeping Gods, and Thorn.
In December 2016, keyboardist Herbrand Larsen left the band amicably after 12 years.The band then recruited Håkon Vinje of Seven Impale, a Norwegian band that opened for them at a concert in Bergen. Enslaved's 14th studio album E was released on 13 October 2017. In June 2018, drummer Cato Bekkevold retired from the band amicably, and was replaced by Iver Sandøy, who had previously played in the side project Trinacria and co-produced several recent Enslaved albums. The band's 15th album Utgard was initially announced for Spring 2020, but the release has been delayed to the Fall of that year.
The band's early music was rooted in traditional black metal and Viking metal, however the band moved away from this sound with 2001's Monumension and 2003's Below the Lights . It was at this point that the band was reduced to its two founding members, Bjørnson and Kjellson. They began to incorporate elements of progressive rock, jazz, and other distinct influences into their sound, and over time have continued this progression.Kjellson has named Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Rush, Genesis, Darkthrone, early Mayhem, and Bathory as important influences on the band's sound.
Related Research Articles
Audrey Horne are a hard rock band from Bergen, Norway. The band took its name from Sherilyn Fenn's character in the cult TV series Twin Peaks. Although some of the band's members play or have previously played in black metal bands like Enslaved and Gorgoroth, Audrey Horne's music is far removed from the black metal genre, and can be described as heavy and melodic classic rock, similar to bands like Van Halen, Kiss, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Faith No More and Alice In Chains.
Hordanes Land is the debut EP by Norwegian metal band Enslaved. It was released on May 1993, through Candlelight Records, and was also released as a split album a few weeks later with Emperor's self-titled EP. It was a key release in the development of Viking metal.
Vikingligr Veldi is the debut studio album by Norwegian heavy metal band Enslaved. It was released in 1994, through Deathlike Silence Productions, the record label run by Euronymous, who was killed before the album's release. The album is dedicated to him.
Frost is the second studio album by Norwegian heavy metal band Enslaved. It was released in 1994, through Osmose Productions.
Eld is the third studio album by Norwegian heavy metal band Enslaved. It was released on 7 April 1997, through Osmose Productions.
Blodhemn is the fourth studio album by Norwegian heavy metal band Enslaved. It was released in 1998, through Osmose Productions.
Mardraum – Beyond the Within is the fifth studio album by Norwegian heavy metal band Enslaved.
Monumension is the sixth studio album by Norwegian heavy metal band Enslaved. It was released on 27 November 2001, through Osmose Productions. It is Enslaved's first album feature lyrics sung entirely in English, although some versions of the album include the Old Norse track "Sigmundskvadet" as a bonus.
Below the Lights is the seventh full-length album by Norwegian heavy metal band Enslaved. Beyond it being their last full-length for production company Osmose, a few lineup changes would take place. This would be the last album Enslaved recorded with Dirge Rep on drums. They would also enlist a full-time keyboardist in Herbrand Larsen, bringing the band personnel from four to five.
Isa is the eighth full-length studio album by Norwegian metal band Enslaved. Several tracks segue continuously into one another and the majority of compositions are composed of multiple interlocking movements.
Ruun is the ninth full-length album by the Norwegian black metal band Enslaved. It was released on 2 May 2006. It was given Norway's 2006 Spellemann award for best achievement in the "metal" genre.
Kjetil Tvedte Grutle, better known as Grutle Kjellson, is the bassist and vocalist of the Norwegian progressive black metal band Enslaved. Together with Ivar Bjørnson, they are the founding and the only constant members, as well as the main songwriters of the band.
Ivar Skontorp Peersen, best known by his stage name Ivar Bjørnson is a Norwegian composer/guitarist for the progressive black/viking metal band Enslaved.
Grace Submerged, the second and final album by Norwegian doom/gothic metal band Octavia Sperati, was released in May 2007 via Candlelight Records.
Vertebrae is the tenth studio album by the Norwegian heavy metal band Enslaved. It was released on 29 September 2008 by Indie Recordings in Europe and on 28 October 2008 by Nuclear Blast in the US, Enslaved's first album on both labels. It was named as Album of the Year by Terrorizer and was awarded the Norwegian "Spellemannprisen" for best metal album. The album sold approximately 1,100 copies in its first week in the United States, reaching number 49 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart.
Arve Isdal, also known as Ice Dale, is a Norwegian musician and producer.
Axioma Ethica Odini is the eleventh album by Norwegian heavy metal band Enslaved. It was released on September 27, 2010 via Indie Recordings in Europe and on September 28, 2010 via Nuclear Blast in North America. The cover artwork was created by Norwegian painter Truls Espedal who has created all of the band's artwork since 2001's Monumension. The album received very positive reviews from music critics, and sold around 1,400 copies in the United States its first week of release, landing at position no. 16 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart.
RIITIIR, occasionally typeset as "RIITIIЯ," is the twelfth studio album from the Norwegian extreme metal band Enslaved. It was released on September 28, 2012 in Europe and on October 9, 2012 in North America. The name RIITIIR is Ivar Bjørnson's "Norse-ified" take on the words "Rites/Rituals", or "The Rites of Man", and rituals form the central concept of the album. The album received positive reviews from music critics, and sold around 2,300 copies in its first week of release in the United States, which made it their highest debuting album to date in terms of sales.
In Times is the thirteenth studio album by the Norwegian extreme metal band Enslaved. It was released on 10 March 2015 by Nuclear Blast. As the title suggests, the album's central theme is that of time, considered philosophically, historically, and mythologically. The album sold about 2,950 copies in its first week of release in the United States, making In Times their highest sales debut to date. The album charted in some territories in its first week of release, including Norway and Finland. It is also the band's last album with keyboardist/vocalist Herbrand Larsen, who departed the following year.
E is the fourteenth studio album by the Norwegian extreme metal band Enslaved. It was released on October 13, 2017 by Nuclear Blast.