Ivar Bjørnson, guitarist, composer, and founding member of Norwegian progressive extreme metallers ENSLAVED, offers the first installment in the seven-part “Studio Of Mad Men” series shedding insight into the band’s upcoming as-yet-untitled thirteenth studio album, set for an early 2015 release.
“Duper Studios, Bergen: It is a Tuesday, and just three days since we did the Eidsivablot show with WARDRUNA in Eidsvoll, Norway and performed “Skuggsjá” [a very special concert piece co-written by Bjørnson and WARDRUNA’s Einar Selvik to honor the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian constitution]. These last few months have been brutal with two full sets of new music worked on in parallel, so rigging up drums, stacks, and instruments for this new recording feels like reaching some wonderful new shore after months of rough sailing.”
Band members have previously described the new album as “darker and rawer, more aggressive and direct, yet continues the exploration deeper into progressive, softer, and more melodic territories with at times complex song structures, combined with unusually immediate (for ENSLAVED, at least) elements.”
Main recordings for the as-yet-untitled new album are taking place at Duper and Solslottet Studios in Bergen, Norway with additional recordings done at Conclave & Earshot Studios (presided over by ENSLAVED members Larsen and Ice Dale), and Ivar Bjørnson’s Peersonal Sound Studios.
Additional experimentation and sonic exploration will be conducted deep in the woods of Valevåg south of Bergen where the band took a mobile studio to record the infamous ‘Thorn’ 7” single in 2012.
The album will be produced by band members Ivar Bjørnson, Grutle Kjellson & Herbrand Larsen together with Iver Sandøy. Mixing will be done by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden.
Cover artwork will once again be illustrated by long-time collaborating artist and “sixth ENSLAVED member” Truls Espedal, who has painted all album covers since 2001’s ‘Monumension’.
A very special hometown show in Bergen, Norway awaits fans on November 1st, where ENSLAVED’s live set will include songs never previously performed in front of an audience, including ‘Havenless’ from 2003’s ‘Below The Lights’ album.
2012’s studio release, ‘RIITIIR’, garnered ENSLAVED a seventh nomination for a Spellemann Award (the Norwegian equivalent of the American Grammy) in the category of “Best Metal Album.” They have won a Spellemann Award four consecutive times for the following four studio albums: ‘Axioma Ethica Odini’ (2010), ‘Vertebrae’ (2008), ‘Ruun’ (2006), and ‘Isa’ (2004).