Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Biography :

Enslaved is a progressive black metal band formed in June 1991 in Haugesund, Norway, and currently based out of Bergen, Norway.

History :

Enslaved was formed in June 1991 by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson (also known as Kjell Grutle) when they were 13 and 17 years old, respectively. The band name was inspired by an Immortal demo track, "Enslaved in Rot". After many line-up changes throughout their career, Bjørnson and Kjellson are the only remaining original members. By 2004 the line-up solidified with guitarist Arve Isdal, drummer Cato Bekkevold, and keyboardist/vocalist Herbrand Larsen.

Bjørnson and Kjellson had been playing in a death metal band called Phobia, but like many in the burgeoning black metal movement, they were looking for new sources of inspiration and expression. Though Enslaved began as a prototypical Norwegian black metal band, they always incorporated song structures unusual for the genre, with several of their early songs expanding past the ten-minute mark. The album Eld (1997) is often considered to be the beginning of the band's shift towards progressive metal; that album's sixteen-minute track "793 (Slaget om Lindisfarne)" is often regarded as one of the peaks of the band's career. The band's shift toward progressive black metal was rendered complete with Mardraum (2000), which contained several multi-part epics such as "Større enn tid - Tyngre enn natt" and "Entrance - Escape"; from that point onward, the band's influence from progressive rock became stronger on each successive record, with several tracks (most prominently, "As Fire Swept Clean the Earth" from Below the Lights) even using Mellotron. Mardraum, Monumension (2001), and Below the Lights (2003) can be regarded as having somewhat similar styles, although there is a clear progression of sound between the albums regardless; however, Isa (2004) and Ruun (2006) show a marked departure from previous sounds, most notably, with inclusion of sharp dynamic shifts.

Although the band has used mainly English lyrics since Monumension, their albums before that were mostly recorded in Norwegian except on their first full-length album, where three songs had Icelandic lyrics, while the lyrics on Heimdallr was an Old Norse excerpt from Gylfaginning by Snorri Sturluson. Most of their lyrics relate to Norse mythology.

In 2007-2008 Bjørnson, Kjellson, and Isdal collaborated with the Norwegian noise duo Fe-Mail, under the name Trinacria. Enslaved released the album Vertebrae in September 2008. On this particular album, many of their techniques, particularly harmonies, have been compared to Pink Floyd. After touring Europe extensively, Enslaved embarked on a North American tour with the progressive death metal band Opeth in May 2009.

On 15 July 2010, Enslaved announced Axioma Ethica Odini as the title of its eleventh studio album, scheduled to be released in Europe on September 27 and in North America on September 28.

Band Members :

Current Members :

* Grutle Kjellson – Lead Vocals, bass (since 1991)
* Ivar Bjørnson – Lead Guitar (since 1991)
* Arve "Ice Dale" Isdal – Rhythm Guitar (since 2002)
* Cato Bekkevold – Drums (since 2003 - Formerly of Red Harvest)
* Herbrand Larsen – Keyboards, Backing Vocals (since 2004)

Former Members :

* Trym Torson (Kai Johnny Mosaker) – Drums (1991–1995)
* Harald Helgeson – Drums (1995–1997)
* Per Husebø (also known as Dirge Rep) – Drums (1997–2002)
* Roy Kronheim – Guitar (1997–2002)

Discography :

Studio Albums and EPs :

* Enslaved - Hordanes Land (EP) (1993)
* Enslaved - Vikingligr Veldi (1994)
* Enslaved - Frost (1994)
* Enslaved - Eld (1997)
* Enslaved - Blodhemn (1998)
* Enslaved - Mardraum - Beyond the Within (2000)
* Enslaved - Monumension (2001)
* Enslaved - Below the Lights (2003)
* Enslaved - Isa (2004)
* Enslaved - Ruun (2006)
* Enslaved - Vertebrae (2008)
* Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini (2010)

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