The following is the final installment of an 8-part series where bassist/vocalist/lyricist Grutle Kjellson and rhythm guitarist/songwriter/lyricist Ivar Bjørnson of the Norwegian progressive extreme metal band ENSLAVED offer insight on the tracks comprising their twelfth studio album, RIITIIR, due out in Europe today and in North America on October 9th.
Kjellson on RIITIIR’s final track, “Forsaken”:
“The final music Ivar wrote and the final lyrics I wrote actually ended up on the last song this time around. It also ended up being our longest song in ages. This one though, could not be placed anywhere else, being perhaps the most diverse song on the album. It starts off almost punk-like (ouch!), but as long as it´s only punk-like, it’s okay. There are good punk acts, too, like the Ramones for instance… but that’s miles beside the point. It starts off with raw energy, moves into nearly Tangerine Dream-like soundscapes (me and Ivar share a love for ‘70s German electronica), moves further into a Pink Floyd-like bridge, explodes into a Hypocrisy-styled epic Death Metal theme before it all ends with something that Pete Steel could have written. So this song pretty much sums up, at least, some of the variety of inspiration we have gotten from our idols – hopefully by just taking inspiration, rather than stealing. Others will have to be the judge of that…heh, heh. On the lyrical side, these are some of those lyrics that have been lying in the back of my mind for ages, just waiting to be written down. I met the genius of Robert Lowe from OM (no, not the actor, nor the Candlemass vocalist) at the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg (NL) this year, and we were introduced by our mutual friend Stephen ‘Nitwit’ O´Malley. We soon realized that we shared a lot of common thoughts on the ways of viewing the world, and I invited him to co-write a lyric together with me for the next album. Unfortunately our schedules fucked up a bit, so there just wasn’t time enough to do so. But the themes we largely discussed at the Roadburn Festival ended up in my lyrics for ‘Forsaken.’ Thanks a lot for the inspiration, Rob, and I hope we can fulfill the task sometime later. The lyrics landed on the outskirts of the concept overbuilding of RIITIIR, but it deals with the decadence that lays a dark shadow on all societies around the world, and it is thus something all of us unfortunately have in common…”
Bjørnson on “Forsaken”:
“This song is a bit of a rarity, in the sense that it is a last-song-on-the-album that was written specifically for that purpose. The more usual route is to write material until something tells me we have an album (and then make up the order of songs), but this time this something was more specific: ‘You have an album, just write the finisher.’ Again, who am I to question these things? A thing that is striking is how crystallized the singers’ work are: both Grutle’s various vocal identities throughout the song and then Herbrand [Larsen]‘s amazing performance on the outro. They’re both breaking new ground for themselves and the band here. Then I am going to pat myself on the back (on the behind would be weird!) for my little comeback on the piano on the intro and outro, as well as paying homage to the heroes of the synthesizers and sequencers of the ‘70s. It is all in all a fitting conclusion for the album, and creates some space at the end of a pretty dense album. Hopefully others will also have the same feeling after hearing it: wanting to hear the entire album again…”
Visit the ENSLAVED Facebook page to read commentaries on all the new songs on RIITIIR.
The iTunes pre-order for RIITIIR is available for $8.99 to all U.S. residents (special pricing also extends through the week of release). Visit iTunes to preview 90 seconds of every single thought-altering new song.
Nuclear Blast USA’s pre-order bundles include an exclusive album artwork t-shirt + an exclusive 1-inch pin. The deluxe digi-pak edition includes a bonus DVD featuring: The Making of RIITIIR, The Band, The Studios, The Artwork.
RIITIIR’s North American 2 LP bone & charcoal splatter vinyl double-gatefold version – limited to 1,000 copies – can be pre-ordered beginning October 9th.
So you’re not doing anything the first week in December, eh? Why not join ENSLAVED on the Barge To Hell cruise and give yourself the experience of a lifetime?
Exploding with the inspiration from their idols at: