Checking in from Solslottet Studio in Bergen, members of Norwegian progressive extreme metallers ENSLAVED offer the last installment in their seven-part “Diary of Mad Men” series shedding insight into the band’s upcoming as-yet-untitled thirteenth studio album, set for an early 2015 release.
“… Then it was time for me to do some howling, cursing, screaming and singing again,” contributes ENSLAVED bassist & vocalist Grutle Kjellson. “We moved a few meters from Duper to co-producer Iver Sandøy’s own Solslottet Studios and rigged up what we usually do with a set of three microphones: A Shure SM 7B for growls and screams, a RFT CM-7151 (commonly known as “the Leipzig bottle”) for chants & whispering etc., and a Neumann UM-57 for clean vocals. We were fortunately lucky with the energy, atmosphere, and my vocal shape the first day, so we were able to lay down my vocal tracks for half of the songs the first day… that is, with the exception some dubbing I usually do on Herbrand [Larsen]’s vocals. It was also time to lay down some tracks with both the Moog Taurus pedals and with one of ENSLAVED treasures that has been with us since 1991 (!): Ivar [Bjørnson]’s Roland SH-1. A great day at work and an ever-growing confidence that this album will destroy everything we have done prior to this.”
Keyboard player & clean vocalist Herbrand Larsen adds: “This album will be rawer and more direct… more in your face!”
Main recordings for the new album have moved from Duper Studios to Solslottet Studio 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.
Album number thirteen is being 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.
Artwork will be illustrated by long-time collaborating artist and “sixth ENSLAVED member” Truls Espedal, who has painted all seven album covers since 2001’s ‘Monumension’.
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).