Posts Tagged ‘ENSLAVED’

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ENSLAVED: TRACK-BY-TRACK COMMENTARY SERIES, PART 1

September 7th, 2010
Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini

Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini

In the first of nine installments, bassist/vocalist Grutle Kjellson and rhythm guitarist/songwriter Ivar Bjørnson of the progressive/psychedelic Norwegian black metal band ENSLAVED offer commentary on the songs that will appear on the band’s new album Axioma Ethica Odini, which is scheduled for release in Europe on September 27th and in North America on September 28th.

Kjellson on “Ethica Odini”:

“When I first heard Ivar’s sketches for this song, the first thing that struck me was:  ‘Wow! Master’s Hammer!’  It does not necessarily sound like our old Czech heroes, but the nerve and the atmosphere reminded me of them for some reason straight away.  It has got only three riffs/themes really, and it is perhaps our most repetitive song in 15 years, but still I think there is something really strong and outstanding about it. I enjoyed it instantly and I still do after listening to it 1,018 times!  The title and lyrics of this song are actually something I have had in mind for several years, and they turned out to be very fitting and suitable for this album.  As the title strongly indicates, it deals with the ethics of Odin, at least the way I see them.  The first Latin translation of the Norse poem ‘Haavamaal’ (the tale of Odin in his hall, Haavahall) was actually called ‘Ethica Odini.’  The lyrics are inspired by some of the verses in this poem.  Feel free to find out which ones… heh, heh.”

Bjørnson on “Ethica Odini”:

“This is one of my favorite ENSLAVED album openers so far.  During the making of this album, I felt an urgent need to hear something that made me really react like the albums of the early ‘90s did, when we were a young band.  This really made me aware of how absolutely fearless these bands were – the pioneers of early Death, Black and Extreme Metal.  A band that was a particularly important for me and Grutle were Czech legends Master’s Hammer, and even though it might not be totally obvious, we have put a little nod to them in this song.   I really like the way the vocals contrast each other here;  this first song is really getting out of the speakers to let the listener know that ‘We’ve made some giant steps ahead here, let’s show you!’  Heh, heh.   The clean vocals in the end part is showcasing [keyboard player and clean vocalist] Herbrand’s exquisite nose for melody while the opening shows a snarly Grutle in top form. The structure of the song is quite ‘simple,’ even though the parts themselves hold a lot of complexity and depth. The idea for the intro came from Grutle – we knew it needed to be an intro for both the song and the album.  Not an easy task.  Grutle told me he wanted the intro to contain the sound of a ship creaking against a wooden pier.  I started working on the intro with all kinds of keys and sound on top the creaking ship, but ended up using basically a processed sample of the ship.  It simply fits the concept and the feeling of the album: If the ship is about to leave, arrive, or lie there forever, that is up to the listeners own fantasy.  To me, it is perfect to set up the mood for Axioma Ethica Odini.”

Fans interested in creating an official entry for ENSLAVED’s video contest for the track “Ethica Odini” can obtain details hereContest ends Thursday, September 30th.

Nuclear Blast USA’s Webshop is now taking pre-orders for ENSLAVED’s exclusive North American Axioma Ethica Odini pre-order bundle, which includes the new album plus an ENSLAVED t-shirt for $20.00.

ENSLAVED will embark on a 7-show “Circling Above and Within Tour” of Europe beginning October 15th and will return to North America in November as the direct support act for DIMMU BORGIR.  All upcoming tour dates are available here.

View the four-part in-studio video series of ENSLAVED members answering fan questions on the making of Axioma Ethica Odini here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

View Metal Hammer’s video interview here where Ivar Bjørnson & Grutle Kjellson shed some insight on the new album artwork by Norwegian artist Truls Espedal.

Visit ENSLAVED online at www.ENSLAVED.no, www.myspace.com/ENSLAVED, www.facebook.com/ENSLAVED, www.youtube.com/user/enslavedofficial, and twitter.com/ENSLAVEDBAND.

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Posted in Black Metal, Progressive Metal | Comments (0)

ENSLAVED ANNOUNCE FAN VIDEO CONTEST

September 3rd, 2010
Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini

Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini

Norway’s renowned progressive/psychedelic black metal band ENSLAVED have launched a worldwide fan video contest for the track “Ethica Odini” off their new album, Axioma Ethica Odini, due out in North America on September 28th.

States guitarist/songwriter Ivar Bjørnson:

“We wanted to do something else for the album video this time around. The track ‘Ethica Odini’ opens the album and stood out as the choice for making a video.  Earlier, we have done videos more or less by ourselves (“Isa”), semi-professionally (“Path To Vanir,” “Essence”), and all-the-way-glossy-pro (“The Watcher”).  Now we are really curious to see what our listeners can conjure up out there: an entire new angle and blank sheets is always a good thing in the ENSLAVED universe!  This is a way to interact directly with our listeners, which feels very right – as we seem to have the most involved listeners in the first place.  We can’t begin to express the appreciation for the support we have been shown through the run-up to this release!  May the best director win!”

Interested fans can obtain details hereContest ends Thursday, September 30th.

FIRST PLACE

  • Video will be uploaded to ENSLAVED’s YouTube channel and branded as an “official” video for “Ethica Odini.”
  • ENSLAVED will use the video in a live setting.
  • Winner will receive ALL VERSIONS of Axioma Ethica Odini, including the limited edition wooden box, autographed by the band.
  • Two guest list spots + a Meet & Greet session with ENSLAVED at a live concert nearest to the winner’s city of residence.
  • Band merchandise.
  • A special “thank you” video from ENSLAVED sent directly to the winner.

SECOND PLACE

  • Video will be uploaded to ENSLAVED’s YouTube channel and branded as an “official” video for “Ethica Odini.”
  • A special “thank you” video from ENSLAVED sent directly to the winner..
  • Two guest list spots + a Meet & Greet session with ENSLAVED at a live concert nearest to the winner’s city of residence.
  • Band merchandise.

THIRD PLACE

  • Video will be uploaded to ENSLAVED’s YouTube channel and branded as an “official” video for “Ethica Odini.”
  • A special “thank you” video from ENSLAVED sent directly to the winner..
  • Band merchandise.

Axioma Ethica Odini is the follow-up to 2008’s Vertebrae, which sold over 1,100 copies its first week of release in North America according to Nielsen SoundScan and debuted on the American Billboard Hard Music chart at #11 and on the Billboard Heatseekers chart at #49Vertebrae also won Terrorizer Magazine’s coveted “Album of the Year” award for 2008.  In their native Norway, Vertebrae entered the official charts at #20 and earned  ENSLAVED their third consecutive Spellemann award (the Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy).

ENSLAVED will embark on a 7-show “Circling Above and Within Tour” of Europe beginning October 15th.

View Metal Hammer’s video interview here with ENSLAVED guitarist/songwriter Ivar Bjørnson & bassist/vocalist Grutle Kjellson where they shed some insight on the album artwork by  Norwegian artist Truls Espedal.

Visit ENSLAVED online at www.ENSLAVED.no, www.myspace.com/ENSLAVED, www.facebook.com/ENSLAVED, www.youtube.com/user/enslavedofficial, and www.twitter.com/enslavedband.

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Posted in Black Metal, Progressive Metal | Comments (0)

ENSLAVED: NEW ALBUM ARTWORK REVEALED

July 20th, 2010
Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini

Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini

The artwork by Norwegian artist Truls Espedal for Axioma Ethica Odini, the eleventh studio album by Norway’s highly renowned progressive, psychedelic black metal band ENSLAVED, is now up on the band’s MySpace page.  The album will be released in Europe via Indie Recordings on September 27th and in North America on September 28th via Nuclear Blast Records.

ENSLAVED bassist & vocalist Grutle Kjellson has this to say about collaborating with the man who has painted every ENSLAVED album cover since 2001’s Monumension:

“On every new album cover, me and [rhythm guitarist/songwriter] Ivar [Bjørnson] come up with the idea of what the cover art shall include in terms of elements, symbolism and so forth.  After that, we contact Truls and tell him about our ideas for the cover art.  Then we arrange a meeting where we sit down for a couple of hours making sketches.  Truls also has the opportunity to come up with his own ideas of how we can transform our original ideas the best possible way.  He has made a masterpiece this time as well!  The cover art is simply amazing!  Amazing…”

Artist/painter Truls Espedal reveals how much black paint was used for the artwork’s creation and shares his thoughts on being back in action with ENSLAVED:

“I’m always excited about working with ENSLAVED, which is the reason I feel that too much time goes by between releases – ha, ha!  But once again I sat down with Ivar and Grutle, and their ideas were more complex and interesting than ever.  Also, their expectations and confidence that I’m able to come up with something better than before pushes me to set the bar even higher.  This time around, we set out to expand further what we have done on earlier works: adding more textures and mixing the figurative paintings  with the  ‘symbolic’ design even more.  By doing this, I feel that we are able to convey a lot more atmosphere, story, and a visually more interesting cover throughout.  Hopefully, other people will think the same.  It’s really important for me that the artwork is handcrafted and that the printed images on the CD and vinyl versions really show the brush strokes and have that feel to them.  That is a big issue!  And about the amount of black paint I used – a lot.  Good times.”

Produced by Bjørnson, Kjellson, and keyboardist/backing vocalist Herbrand Larsen, the groundwork for Axioma Ethica Odini was recorded at three different studios in Bergen, Norway: 1) Duper Studios; 2) Earshot Studios (belonging to ENSLAVED members Larsen and lead guitarist Ice Dale); and 3) Peersonal Sound (owned by Bjørnson).  The album was mixed by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Bloodbath, Amon Amarth, Eluveitie) at Fascination Street Studios in Orebro, Sweden and mastered by Chris Sansom (Mortiis) at Propeller Music Division in Oslo, Norway.

Axioma Ethica Odini is the follow-up to 2008’s Vertebrae, which sold over 1,100 copies its first week of release in North America according to Nielsen SoundScan and debuted on the American Billboard Hard Music chart at #11 and on the Billboard Heatseekers chart at #49Vertebrae also won Terrorizer Magazine’s coveted “Album of the Year” award for 2008.  In their native Norway, Vertebrae entered the official charts at #20 and earned  ENSLAVED their third consecutive Spellemann award (the Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy).

ENSLAVED will embark on a 7-show “Circling Above and Within Tour” of Europe beginning October 15th.

View a recent interview with ENSLAVED guitarist/songwriter Ivar Bjørnson here.

Visit ENSLAVED online at www.ENSLAVED.no, www.myspace.com/ENSLAVED, www.facebook.com/ENSLAVED, and www.youtube.com/user/enslavedofficial.

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Posted in Black Metal | Comments (0)

ENSLAVED: NEW ALBUM TITLE COUNTDOWN BEGINS

July 14th, 2010

The title for the new album by Norway’s highly renowned psychedelic post-black metal band ENSLAVED will be announced on the band’s MySpace page on Thursday, July 15th at 3 a.m. PACIFIC / 6 a.m. EASTERN / 12:00 CET.  Release dates will also be announced.

This eleventh studio album was recorded at three different studios in Bergen, Norway: 1) Duper; 2) Earshot (belonging to ENSLAVED members Herbrand Larsen [keyboardist/backing vocalist] and Ice Dale [lead guitarist]); and 3) Peersonal Sound (owned by rhythm guitarist/songwriter Ivar Bjørnson).   It is the follow-up to 2008’s Vertebrae, which sold over 1,100 copies its first week of release in North America according to Nielsen SoundScan and debuted on the American Billboard Hard Music chart at #11 and on the Billboard Heatseekers chart at #49.  In their native Norway, Vertebrae entered the official charts at #20 and earned  ENSLAVED their third consecutive Spellemann award (the Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy).

Vertebrae also won Terrorizer Magazine’s coveted “Album of the Year” award for 2008.  Other “Best of 2008” rankings include: Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles: #4;  Metal Edge: #9; Metal Maniacs: #11; Revolver Magazine: #14; Decibel Magazine: #16; and Kerrang!: #19.

ENSLAVED will embark on a 7-show “Circling Above and Within Tour” of Europe beginning October 15th.

View a recent interview with ENSLAVED guitarist/songwriter Ivar Bjørnson here.

Visit ENSLAVED online at www.ENSLAVED.no, www.myspace.com/ENSLAVED, www.facebook.com/ENSLAVED, and www.youtube.com/user/enslavedofficial.

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Posted in Black Metal | Comments (0)

ENSLAVED ANNOUNCE “CIRCLING ABOVE AND WITHIN” EUROPEAN TOUR

June 22nd, 2010
ENSLAVED

ENSLAVED

Guitarist/songwriter Ivar Bjørnson of the Norwegian masters of progressive/experimental metallers ENSLAVED has issued the following statement:

“It is with great enthusiasm we can announce these European dates of our ‘Circling Above and Within Tour’!  Ash clouds, however metal and majestic they might be, put a stop to our planned U.K. tour back in April.  We started working on scheduling new dates immediately, and now we are ready to go!  ENSLAVED is a band that enjoys being on the road like nothing else; we do take pride in being a hard working and increasingly energetic and focused live band.  We are also very pleased with our new album (why be modest?) due to be out in connection with this tour – and cannot wait to perform the tracks live!”

Confirmed European dates include:

10/15  Underworld – London, Great Britain

10/16  Aeronel – Paris, France

10/17  L’autre Canal – Nancy, France

10/18  Nouveau Casino – Paris, France

10/20  Kade – Zaandam, The Netherlands

10/21  W2 – Den Bosch, The Netherlands

10/22  Trix – Antwerpen, Belgium

The new ENSLAVED album will be the follow-up to 2008’s Vertebrae, which sold over 1,100 copies its first week of release according to Nielsen SoundScan and debuted on the American Billboard Hard Music chart at #11 and on the Billboard Heatseekers chart at #49.  Vertebrae also won Terrorizer Magazine’s coveted “Album of the Year” award for 2008.  Other “Best of 2008” rankings include:

  • Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles: #4
  • Metal Edge: #9
  • Metal Maniacs: #11
  • Revolver Magazine: #14
  • Decibel Magazine: #16
  • Kerrang!: #19

Visit ENSLAVED online at www.ENSLAVED.no, www.myspace.com/ENSLAVED, and www.youtube.com/user/enslavedofficial.

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Posted in Black Metal, Progressive Metal | Comments (0)

South By Southwest (SXSW) 2008

April 8th, 2008

SXSW

By Robert Williams

South By Southwest (SXSW) is an annual music and film conference/festival held yearly in beautiful Austin, Texas. In the 21 years of its existence, SXSW has served as a launching pad for many unknown bands turned media darlings overnight. For one week in the month of March each year bands from all over the world gather in downtown Austin and showcase their music, their craft, for record executives, media big wigs, and most importantly in my opinion, music lovers!

This all sounds like a splendid and festive occasion with the exception of one detail. SXSW has almost exclusively all but overlooked metal and its many subgenres for its entire existence.

Now I won’t lie. In years past I have seen some cool showcases. Century Media and Relapse usually cart their bands into town, and scattered about my 12 year tenure in Austin I have seen some notable showcases featuring among others In Extremo, Sol Evil, Children Of Bodom, and Grey Skies Fallen. But when 1,400 bands come to town for one week in March each year, you would hope at least, I don’t know, 50-100 of them would be awesome heavy metal, right?

Well, this year Austin got a fair amount of killer metal. Kicking things off on Wednesday, the 12th I had the pleasure of witnessing my first Municipal Waste concert. A day later I got off of work early and headed downtown with some friends and caught a showcase featuring Enslaved, Mixhell, Napalm Death, High On Fire, and the mighty Motorhead.

Lastly, I witnessed the “It’s Grim Up North” showcase featuring Sabaton, 1349 and Enslaved. I partied like a true champion, saw some really, really good performances and got some really solid interviews. Read on metal faithful and I shall guide you through these conversations in steel conducted in my homeland of Austin….Let’s start at the beginning….

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Posted in 2008 | Comments (0)

Wacken 2007

October 9th, 2007

Wacken Open Air 2007 

Wacken is a blessed mecca of the whole metal world. Again this year it was entirely sold out when ten thousands of metal manics travelled from all around the world to gather and witness plenty of ass kicking bands. The weather forecast for Wacken didn’t look that promising. The chaotic and muddy mess caused by long and heavy rains rampaged the ground during the whole summer. The  festival often provides a survival test to every visitor with its mud and crap. But but gods of metal had seen the light and blessed the whole three day metal inferno with tremendous extreme heat and a sunny weekend. Things could not be better…sun, metal and beer. That combination is nothing but an utter perfect way to enjoy the metallic mayhem at Wacken.

As usual, the true metal commando team from Metal-Rules.Com was there again witnessing a helluva lot of great bands and above all an unexpected huge fire in the main area. Feel, see and enjoy this article.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in 2007 | Comments (0)

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