Heritage

Lineup: Ivar Bjørnson (guitar), Grutle Kjellson (vocal & bass), Cato Bekkevold (drums), Herbrand Larsen (keyboard & vocal), Ice Dale (solo guitar)

Enslaved was formed in 1991 by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson, and did their first demo “Yggdrasill” in the summer of 1992, while the legendary mini-album “Hordanes Land” was released the year after in 1993. Enslaved’s debut “Vikingligr Veldi” came in the spring of 1994, while the successful second album “Frost” was released already winter 1994. In many ways “Eld” (’97) marked the opening of a horizon-widening era for the band, with a small detour on “Blodhemn” the following year: Enslaved’s most furious and black-edged effort to date. “Mardraum (Beyond the Within)” was released in 2000; taking on an experimental and innovative approach for Extreme Metal. The band followed up with “Monumension” in 2001; receiving more (pleasantly) surprising positive response to their “no rules” approach to Extreme Metal. Many see an important milestone being “Below the Lights” (’03) – where the progressive yet darker Enslaved emerged. A new line-up was put together after the recording of “Below the Lights”, marking the opening of a new, shimmering chapter.

The new line-up released the album “Isa” in late 2004, and the album put Enslaved at the very forefront of contemporary Extreme Metal; both as a recording and live artist – proving the latter with the release of acclaimed live-DVD “Return to Yggdrasill”. “Ruun” was released in 2006, and received numerous great reviews from fans, magazines and websites worldwide. Early 2007 Enslaved sat out on their first full tour through USA and Canada since the late 90s; following up with treks all over Europe and more North America. Back in the studio the band conjured up “Vertebrae” (’08) together with mixer Joe Baresi – an album that spread across the globe like fire with extensive promotion and extensive touring. More inspired than ever the band worked on a new album throughout 2009, and started recording during the first weeks of 2010. The band’s first co-operation with mixer Jens Bogren; “Axioma Ethica Odini” received Enslaved’s 4th consecutive Norwegian Grammy in the Metal category (“Isa”, “Ruun” and “Vertebrae” receiving the three previous awards).

Enslaved continued to tour Norway, Europe and North America; and released two exclusive EPs during 2011 (“The Sleeping Gods” 10” and “Thorn” 7”). Never ones for resting, Enslaved worked intensely with an album throughout all of this – and in 2012 they inked a worldwide deal with leading label Nuclear Blast Records. This all resulted in Enslaved’s groundbreaking 2012-album “Riitiir”, followed up throughout 2013, which became a year of expansion for Enslaved – with North American and European tours, and of course more festival appearances around the world. It also became the year when Enslaved finally made its way down under to Australia, a highly memorable and successful endeavor. Upon returning at the end of the year, songwriting once again commenced and 2014 were set to be the year when Enslaved took yet another step up, out, forward and whatever directions there are. The year started with supporting Swedish brother-in-beards Amon Amarth. Then the summer and autumn two highly public commissioned pieces in Norway, and recording a new album. 2015 was one of the bands busiest years; festivals were being played en masse, Enslaved’s own Ivar Bjørnson curated Roadburn 2015 (where Ivar and the band were involved in no less than four performances), and the new album “In Times” and its accompanying tours has set a new precedence for what progressive Extreme Metal can be. True Norwegian Innovation, in short.

As with the two previous albums, the team of producers once again came from within the band: Bjørnson, Larsen and Grutle – with the addition of Iver Sandøy. Large parts of the recording were  again done in the band members’ own studios in Bergen and the remote village of Valevåg. The mix and mastering was handled by respectively Jens Bogren and Tony Lindgren; both from Fascination Street Studios. One of Enslaved’s trademarks has been the magnificent paintings that adorn the covers, and “In Times” is no exception. Norwegian artist Truls Espedal, who has worked with the band since 2001, has done the impossible with topping his own previous masterpieces once again.

2016 is the band’s 25th anniversary – anything can and will happen!

Discography

Enslaved - Hordanes Land Cover

Hordanes Land

1993 (minialbum)

«Hordanes Land»
(1993)
This album is legendary for anyone into the Norwegian scene of the early 90s. Fouding members Ivar and Grutle shows attitude and work ethics on a mini-album (also released as a split-album with Emperor’s “s/t”) that is bombastic, epic and innovative.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Trym Torson (drums)

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Enslaved - Vikingligr Veldi Cover

Vikingligr Veldi

1994


Our first full-length album, co-produced with the legendary Pytten in Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway. This album has lyrics in Icelandic, and is a tribute to the Norse landscape, history and mythology. The songs are matching these themes with long horizontal songscapes, dense atmospheres and winds from the past.

Currently out of print: check back for updates!

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Trym Torson (drums)

Enslaved - Frost Cover


Frost

1994

This is the one that brought us out of the Norwegian underground and onto the global scene. The production matches the album title; it is heavy, cold and massive. The arrangements are tighter, and points forwards toward a more complex and progressive Enslaved.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Trym Torson (drums)

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Enslaved - Eld Cover

Eld

1997

We surprised quite a lot of people with “Eld”. The band had taken the melodic and progressive edge, also reflected in the raw and unpolished production. It is now as a very important album for the strand of progressive and experimental edge that is now at the very front of Extreme Metal.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Harald Helgeson (drums)

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Enslaved - Blodhemn Cover

Blodhemn

1998

This is definitely Enslaved’s “blackest” and most brutal album; monstrous blast beats, furious hissing guitars and a knife-sharp production from Abyss Studios and Peter Tägtgren. It is easy both to see this album as a deviation from and a natural part of Enslaved’s wonderfully twisted path(s). Check it out and make up your own mind!

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Dirge Rep (drums)
R. Kronheim (guitar)

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Enslaved - Mardraum Cover

Mardraum

(Beyond the Within)
2000

…and things started to change! Another Abyss/ Tägtgren production, but with strong hints towards the progressive, melodic and experimental – yet maintaining an intense and sometimes extreme edge. The timing was perhaps good, as the album received massive acclaim for introducing something new in a scene that showed serious signs of stagnation. The seeds of the “new Enslaved” that was planted on the first albums were starting to grow.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Dirge Rep (drums)
R. Kronheim (guitar)

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Enslaved - Monumension Cover


Monumension

2001

If “Blodhemn” was the yin, this is the yang. Even the band itself was surprised at how far into the experimental spheres Enslaved took this one. There is the signature Enslaved sound, but also the addition of new palettes used to paint the soundscapes; both melody, influences from the 70s, folk music and dynamics were heavily experimented with. No matter if, the album is unusual even for this band; it is still undisputable proof that Enslaved will go where no band has gone before. This release also marks the beginning of the band’s collaboration with cover painter Truls Espedal.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Dirge Rep (drums)
R. Kronheim (guitar)

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Enslaved - Below the Lights Cover

Below the Lights

2003

Some argue that this is the album that started the “proggy Enslaved period”, or the “newer Enslaved”. No matter the relative placement on the timeline, this album kicked off a significant period for Enslaved. Heavy progressive influences, relatively complex song structures, expansion of the instrumentation and use of Grutle’s various vocal expressions, and a heavier emphasis on the magic of the melody. It unified the soul searching and fearless exploration of the previous albums into a confident and bold statement about the direction the band would take in the next decades.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Dirge Rep (drums)
Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal (lead guitar)

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Enslaved - Isa Cover


Isa

2004

If “Frost” took Enslaved out into the world, “Isa” took Enslaved a big step further in the same world. With a new and rock-solid line-up in place, the same line-up that is still as solid to this day, the band sounds refreshed, tight and full of new ideas. The songwriting reached a new level, as did the musicians’ performances, both on an individual and collective basis. A particular thing to notice is how the introduction of two vocalists expand the range of expressions.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Ice Dale (lead guitar)
Cato Bekkevold (drums)
Herbrand Larsen (keys, vocals)

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Enslaved - Ruun Cover

Ruun

2006


After “Isa” had shown the potential of this new line-up, “Ruun” followed through with further exploration and exploitation of the potential found within. The album marks a deeper delve into the mystical, esoteric world of the runes in both words and musicality – there is a denser atmosphere, and a stronger direction in the songs. The solidity of the band’s new direction is starting to show, yet it is also clear that Enslaved’s unspoken “policy” of making every album unique and independent; “an island in its own”, is more relevant and valid than ever before.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Ice Dale (lead guitar)
Cato Bekkevold (drums)
Herbrand Larsen (keys, vocals)

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Enslaved - Vertebrae Cover


Vertebrae

2008

There is the production before “Vertebrae”, and then there is after. The renowned producer and mixer Joe Baressi came in to mix the album, and through his mentoring Enslaved found its latent but still not surfaced sound and production philosophy: it is all about how the band actually sounds with their instruments, drums, amps, pedals and voices – which at this point with an already seasoned live-lineup – were pretty damn good. This did not represent a break with the past, rather a clarification and refinement of what was already there: an aspiration towards the raw, direct and extremely honest production. Next to “Eld”, this is the “cleanest” production on any Enslaved-album, which really leaves room for the arrangements, instruments and vocals.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Ice Dale (lead guitar)
Cato Bekkevold (drums)
Herbrand Larsen (keys, vocals)

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Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini Cover

Axioma Ethica Odini

2010

Continuing the production philosophy, but heading for a more up-tempo and edgy atmosphere, Enslaved started the collaboration with mixer Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios, whilst anchoring the production duties within the band itself (Bjørnson, Grutle and Larsen together with co-producer and engineer Iver Sandøy). The album keeps up and incredible energy level from start to end and heralds a great period to come for any Enslaved-fan; new or old. Fun fact: “Axioma Ethica Odini” got Enslaved our fourth consecutive Norwegian Grammy for best Metal album, before the golden string ended.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Ice Dale (lead guitar)
Cato Bekkevold (drums)
Herbrand Larsen (keys, vocals)

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Enslaved - Riitiir Cover


Riitiir

2012

While upholding the level of intensity and energy from “Axioma Ethica Odini”, “Riitiir” takes a turn for the more unpredictable, progressive and frankly; epic. The underlying theme of the universal concept man as a ritualistic being also seeps into the music; it is dense, powerful and multilayered. Any doubt about Enslaved’s unrelenting will to progress and explore was swept away, the same was any prospect of the band settling down, using recipes to re-create the safe past – yet this album hinted strongly at a band that are drawing heavily on their roots, but intertwining them with newfound influences, progressive expansion and a general undying love for music.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Ice Dale (lead guitar)
Cato Bekkevold (drums)
Herbrand Larsen (keys, vocals)

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Enslaved - In Times Cover


In Times

2015

This album title does not only point to a multi-dimensional and abstract concept-structure overlying the album; but is a good pointer to the sonic content, songwriting and arrangements. Not to speak of the production. At this point Enslaved has gone far into the future with imagining up our own musical evolution, and at the same time we have reached all the way back into the backbone of who we are. “In Times” is a true synthesis of all that is Enslaved – there are even ghosts of what is to come. It is also an album where the band’s unique vocal width and flexibility comes into its right.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Ice Dale (lead guitar)
Cato Bekkevold (drums)
Herbrand Larsen (keys, vocals)

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Vikingligr Veldi - Vinyl Edition

2016

First official vinyl re-issue of 
our first full-length album. It includes a brand new artwork and four illustrations specially made for the album by artist Z. Bielak (Ghost, Mayhem, etc.). This album was co-produced with the legendary Pytten in Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway. It has lyrics in Icelandic, and is a tribute to the Norse landscape, history and mythology. The songs are matching these themes with long horizontal songscapes, dense atmospheres and winds from the past.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Trym Torson (drums)

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The Sleeping Gods - Thorn

2016

A unique collection of experimental material, connecting with our early roots gathered for the first time as a full-length album. Costin Chioreanu of Twilight 13 Media (Roadburn Festival, Opeth, Darkthrone, At The Gates, etc.) did the new layout, including mesmerizing new illustrations. The songs originally appeared on extremely limited EPs between the full-length albums “Axioma Ethica Odini” and “Riitiir". Like the songs, the production itself is a mix of old and new; high tech and no-tech, a mix of concepts that have been essential in achieving our signature sound. The album has lyrics sung in both Norwegian, English and Old Norse, and the theme centres on mythology and the esoteric side of the runes; as well as contrasting the Norse Ways as a polytheistic belief system to the monotheistic plague of the Big World Religions. The music nods respectfully to the wildly varying deities that make up the pantheon of our inspiration, both “then” and “now”.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Ice Dale (lead guitar)
Cato Bekkevold (drums)

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Roadburn Live

2017

« Roadburn Live » is Enslaved’s first official live album, a split release between Roadburn Records and By Norse Music. The album was recorded during one of the band’s headline shows at the renown Roadburn Festival 2015; an edition curated by Enslaved’s guitar player Ivar Bjørnson.

The album was mixed by Iver Sandøy at Solslottet Studio, mastered by Jens Bogren (Kreator, Opeth, Sepultura) in Fascination Studios. It is also the last official release with Herbrand Larsen on keys and vocals. After celebrating 25 years in 2016 showcasing a majority of older material, « Roadburn Live » displays songs mainly from the « newer » and more progressive part of Enslaved’s career, with songs from “In Times”, “Riitiir”, “Isa”, “Below the Lights” and “Monumension”.

The album features the guest appearances of Einar Selvik (Wardruna), Aðalbjörn Tryggvason (Sólstafir), Per Wiberg (Opeth, Candlemass); and Menno Gootjes (Focus) on « Immigrant Song », the first cover song by Enslaved to ever appear on a record.

Line-up

Ivar Bjørnson (guitars, keys)
Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass)
Arve Isdal (guitars)
Cato Bekkevold (drums)
Herbrand Larsen (keyboard, keys)

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AWARDS

Nominated for Norwegian Grammy “Album of the year 2015” (category: metal)

Nominated for Norwegian Grammy ”Album of the year 2012” (category: metal)

Received: Honorary Award from The Norwegian Artist & Songwriter Association 2011

Winner of Norwegian Grammy ”Album of the year 2010” (category: metal)

Winner of Bergensprisen ”Album of the year 2008” (all categories)

Winner of Norwegian Grammy ”Album of the year 2008” (category: metal)

Winner of Norwegian Grammy ”Album of the year 2006” (category: metal)

Winner of Norwegian Grammy ”Album of the year 2004” (category: metal)

Winner of Alarmprisen ”Album of the year 2004” (category: metal)

Winner of Bergensprisen ”Album of the year 2004” (all categories)

Nominated for Norwegian Grammy ”Album of the year 2003” (category: metal)

Nominated for Alarmprisen ”Album of the year 2003” (category: metal)

Nominated for Norwegian Grammy ”Album of the year 2001” (category: metal)

Nominated for Alarmprisen ”Album of the year 2001” (category: metal)