Enslaved (band)

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Enslaved-Live-Norway Rock 2010.jpg
Enslaved performing live at Norway Rock Festival 2010
Background information
Origin Haugesund, Norway
Genres Extreme metal, Progressive metal,[1] Viking metal, black metal
Years active 1991–present
Labels Deathlike Silence, Voices of Wonder, SPV GmbH, Osmose, Tabu, Relapse, The End, Candlelight, Nuclear Blast
Website www.enslaved.no
Members Ivar Bjørnson
Grutle Kjellson
Arve Isdal
Cato Bekkevold
Herbrand Larsen
Past members Trym Torson
Roy Kronheim
Per Husebø
Harald Helgeson

Enslaved is a Norwegian metal band formed in Haugesund, Norway, in June, 1991. They are currently based out of Bergen, Norway.[2]


Enslaved performing live in Oslo in October 2012

Enslaved was formed in July 1991 by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson (also known as Kjetil Grutle) when they were 13 and 17 years old, respectively. The band name was inspired by an Immortal demo track, "Enslaved in Rot."[3] 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 "Ice Dale" Isdal, drummer Cato Bekkevold, and keyboardist/vocalist Herbrand Larsen.

Prior to forming Enslaved, Bjørnson and Kjellson had been playing in a death metal band called Phobia, but like many in the burgeoning extreme metal movement, they were looking for new sources of inspiration and expression.[3] Though Enslaved began as a prototypical Norwegian black metal band in 1991, by 1993 they were incorporating song structures unusual for the genre; several of their earlier songs reach the ten-minute mark (their debut album, Vikingligr Veldi, has only one song that is under ten minutes). As such, the band has rejected the black metal label and prefers the term "extreme metal."[4] Mardraum (2000) contained several multi-part epics such as "Større enn tid - Tyngre enn natt" and "Entrance - Escape." Several of the band's tracks (most prominently, "As Fire Swept Clean the Earth" from Below the Lights) bave used mellotron.[5] Mardraum, Monumension (2001), and Below the Lights (2003) can be regarded as having somewhat similar styles. Isa (2004) and Ruun (2006) show a marked departure from previous sounds, most notably with the inclusion of sharp dynamic shifts.[citation needed]

Although the band has used mainly English lyrics since Monumension, their albums before that were mostly recorded in Norwegian except for three songs with Icelandic lyrics on their first full-length album; while the lyrics of the 1994 track Heimdallr consisted of an Old Norse excerpt from Gylfaginning by Snorri Sturluson. Most of the band's lyrics relate to Norse mythology. Following Ruun, in 2007-2008, Bjørnson, Kjellson, and Isdal collaborated with the Norwegian noise duo Fe-Mail under the name Trinacria.[6][7]

Enslaved released the album Vertebrae in September 2008, their tenth studio album and their first on Nuclear Blast. Terrorizer Magazine named it the album of the year in 2008, notably above other metal releases such as Meshuggah's obZen and Opeth's Watershed.[8] After touring Europe extensively, Enslaved embarked on a North American tour with the progressive death metal band Opeth in May 2009.[9] The album is noted for is shift in its approach and its diverse sounds; Sammy O'Hagar from MetalSucks.net even says that "to call [Vertebrae] black metal would be quite a stretch" because "there’s an impressive depth to [it] that surpasses the sour misanthropy so often (and rightfully) associated with the genre", and furthermore describing their sound as "heavy and surprisingly soft, focused and curious, true to their roots and longing to forget them".[10] The album's sound has been said to be akin to Pink Floyd's sound on a few occasions,[10][11] as well as other black metal releases in a similar vain.[12] After extensively touring Europe, Enslaved toured North America with Opeth in support of Vertebrae.

Enslaved released their eleventh studio album, Axioma Ethica Odini, on 27 September 2010 in Europe and the following day in North America.[13] In 2011 Enslaved released two new EPs. The first EP, entitled The Sleeping Gods, which was produced in partnership with Scion Audio/Visual, was released on 10 May 2011 and made available as a free download consisting of 5 original tracks.[14] The second EP, entitled Thorn, was released on 27 August 2011 in partnership with Soulseller Records in fulfillment of a decade-old agreement. The Thorn EP, released on seven-inch vinyl, was strictly limited to 1,000 copies and featured a more atmospheric sound than the band is currently known for.[15] Enslaved started their 20th anniversary tour "Circling Above and Within North America Tour Part IV" in September 2011 with Alcest and Junius in the United States and Canada.[16] An official tribute album called Önd - A Tribute was released on Pictonian Records in July 2012. It contains twenty covers from twenty bands (including Dordeduh, Fen, Kraków, Vreid and Wodensthrone) to celebrate the two first decades of Enslaved's career.[17] After having signed to Nuclear Blast in Europe, too, Enslaved released their 12th studio album, RIITIIR, on 28 September 2012 in Europe and 9 October in North America.

Enslaved's next album, In Times, will be released March 10, 2015 through Nuclear Blast Records.[18] [19]


Current members[edit]

Former members[edit]

  • Trym Torson – drums, percussion (1991-1995)
  • Harald Helgeson – drums (1995-1997)
  • Per "Dirge Rep" Husebø – drums, percussion (1997-2002)
  • Richard "Roy" Kronheim – guitar (1997-2002)


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
Vikingligr Veldi
  • Released: 28 February 1994
  • Label: Deathlike Silence
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS
  • Released: 4 August 1994
  • Label: Osmose
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download[27]
  • Released: 7 April 1997
  • Label: Osmose, SPV
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download[28]
  • Released: 1998
  • Label: Osmose, SPV
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download[29]
Mardraum – Beyond the Within
  • Released: 3 October 2000
  • Label: Osmose, Necropolis
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download[30]
  • Released: 27 November 2001
  • Label: Osmose, SPV
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download[31]
Below the Lights
  • Released: 14 April 2003
  • Label: Osmose, The End
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download[32]
  • Released: 1 November 2004
  • Label: Tabu Recordings
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download[33]
  • Released: 22 May 2006
  • Label: Tabu Recordings, Candlelight
  • Formats: CD, HDCD, LP, digital download[34]
  • Released: 29 September 2008
  • Label: Indie, Nuclear Blast
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download[35]
20 49
Axioma Ethica Odini
  • Released: 27 September 2010
  • Label: Indie, Nuclear Blast
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download[36]
11 16
  • Released: 9 October 2012
  • Label: Indie, Nuclear Blast
  • Formats: CD, CD+DVD, LP, digital download[37]
15 180 47 70 92 72 8
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Title Album details Notes
Hordanes Land
  • Released: June 1993
  • Label: Candlelight Records
  • Formats: CD, CS
  • Released: 1995
  • Label: Moonfog Productions
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download[38]


Title Video details
Live Retaliation
  • Released: 1 August 2003
  • Label: Metal Mind Productions
  • Formats: DVD
Return to Yggdrasill
  • Released: 12 September 2005
  • Label: Tabu Recordings
  • Formats: DVD


Title Demo details
  • Released: 1991
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: CS
  • Released: 1992
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: CS


Title Album details
Hordanes Land
  • Released: May 1993
  • Label: Candlelight Records
  • Formats: LP
The Sleeping Gods[39]
  • Released: 10 May 2011
  • Label: Scion Audio Visual
  • Formats: digital download
  • Released: 27 August 2011
  • Label: Soulseller Records
  • Formats: LP

Music videos[edit]

Title Year Directed Album
2004 "Isa" Asle Birkeland Isa
2005 "Bounded By Allegiance"
Return To Yggdrasill
2006 "Path To Vanir" Asle Birkeland Ruun
2007 "Essence"
2008 "The Watcher" Patric Ullaeus Vertebrae
2012 "Thoughts Like Hammers" Jerome Siegelaer RIITIIR


  1. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (November 8, 2007). "On the Road to Spread the Word of Good, Old-Fashioned Evil". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  2. ^ "Enslaved Encyclopaedia Metallum entry". Metal-archives.com. 2002-07-17. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Enslaved". Tartarean Desire. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Enslaved Interview from 2009". Youtube.com. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Below the Lights review". BlackMetal.co.uk. 2009-02-26. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Trinacria". Myspace. Retrieved 6 Oct 2014. 
  7. ^ "Trinacria". Encyclopaedia Metallum. Retrieved 6 Oct 2014. 
  8. ^ "ENSLAVED's 'Vertebrae' Crowned TERRORIZER Magazine's 'Album Of The Year'". Blabbermouth.net. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Enslaved Events". Enslaved.no. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  10. ^ a b O'Hagar, Sammy. "Enslaved's Vertebrae: The Sound of a Band at the Top of Their Game". MetalSucks.net. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Enslaved - Vertebrae: A Momentary Lapse in Norwegian?". Encyclopaedia Metallum. marktheviktor. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  12. ^ Metzengerstein, Frederick. "Nachtmysium's Assassins: Black Meddle Part 1 is a Solid Link between Psychedelia and Black Metal". Sputnik Music. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "Enslaved: New Album Title, Release Date Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "ENSLAVED to Release 'The Sleeping Gods' EP". Blabbermouth.net. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "ENSLAVED To Release Seven-Inch EP on SOULSELLER RECORDS". Blabbermouth.net. 24 July 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "Enslaved: 2011 American tour announced, Release Date Revealed". facebook.com. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  17. ^ "Tributes to Enslaved and Emperor". nrk.no. 8 July 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  18. ^ "In Times". Encyclopaedia Metallum. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  19. ^ Axl Rosenberg (15 December 2014). "Enslaved Announce New Album, In Times". MetalSucks. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  20. ^ http://norwegiancharts.com/search.asp?search=enslaved&cat=a
  21. ^ http://www.zobbel.de/cluk/CLUK2012.HTM
  22. ^ http://finnishcharts.com/search.asp?search=enslaved&cat=a
  23. ^ http://austriancharts.at/search.asp?search=enslaved&cat=a
  24. ^ http://hitparade.ch/search.asp?search=enslaved&cat=a
  25. ^ http://musicline.de/de/chartverfolgung_summary/artist/Enslaved/7199/longplay
  26. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/enslaved/246258#/artist/enslaved/chart-history/246258
  27. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/frost/id260248477
  28. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/eld/id260248076
  29. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/blodhemn/id260249475
  30. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mardraum/id280923015
  31. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/monumension/id263402454
  32. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/below-the-lights/id263402833
  33. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/isa/id317395447
  34. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ruun/id317404932
  35. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/vertebrae/id292857110
  36. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/axioma-ethica-odini/id392472465
  37. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/riitiir/id558329620
  38. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/forest-is-my-throne-yggdrasill/id297379302
  39. ^ Name: (2011-05-10). "Enslaved Release Free EP Online". Gunshyassassin.com. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  40. ^ Name: (2011-07-25). "Enslaved Set To Release New Vinyl EP". www.metalstorm.net. 

External links[edit]