From his home in Bergen, Norway, ENSLAVED guitarist, songwriter, and founding member Ivar BjÃ¸rnson takes some time to provide the following update:
â€œMy favorite time of year is whenever we enter the studio with ENSLAVED to record a new album. Now the season of creative madness, endless days, and bleeding fingertips is upon us againâ€¦ O joy! As before, it is the unholy trinity that forms the first line of attack: I (guitar), Grutle (Kjellson, bass & vocals), and Cato (Bekkevold, drums), are recording the foundations of the album live, while Ice Dale (lead guitar) and Herbrand (Larsen, vocals & keys) will add their instruments and voice in their own studios after these initial core sessions. Then I will add some wackiness at my home studio, before we all get together again to finish it.
â€œI feel that I have delivered basic material that is rock solid. I have poured my very life and heart into these compositions while the rest of the band have refined it, shaped it, and delivered it like their very lives depended on it. It has been challenging to keep up the pace with the way the songs wanted to go; life flows its ways and takes its turns regardless of your artistic ambitions. However, the music led the way through the fog and I just followed, and never doubting the oncoming album for a second.â€
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 BjÃ¸rnsonâ€™s Peersonal Sound Studios.
Additional experimentation and sonic exploration will be conducted deep in the woods of ValevÃ¥g south of Bergen where the band took a mobile studio to record the infamous â€œThornâ€ 7â€ single in 2012.
The album will be produced by band members Ivar BjÃ¸rnson, Grutle Kjellson & Herbrand Larsen together with Iver SandÃ¸y. Mixing will be done by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios in Ã–rebro, Sweden.
Cover artwork will once again be illustrated by long-time collaborating artist and â€œsixth ENSLAVED memberâ€ Truls Espedal, who has painted all album covers since 2001â€™s Monumension.
For their 2012 studio release RIITIIR, ENSLAVED were nominated for a Spellemann Award (the Swedish equivalent of the American Grammy) for the seventh time in the category â€œBest Metal Album.â€ RIITIIR debuted at #8 on the American Billboard Heatseekers (New Artists) chart in October 2012 and appeared on numerous â€œBest Albums of 2012â€ lists around the world.
ENSLAVED 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).