Checking in from Duper Studios in Bergen, members of Norwegian progressive extreme metallers ENSLAVED offer the fifth installment in the 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 via Nuclear Blast.
“Sunday in Bergen means slight hangovers and double-parked Catholics (breaking a few laws to stop by and get forgiveness for last week’s broken laws is okay), but neither of these annoying phenomena can stop this show,” declares ENSLAVED guitarist & composer Ivar Bjørnson. “I and good old Icy Dale are super-happy with the guitar sound thus far. The Peavey 6505 + classic set-ups are the usual suspects, but it is the first time I am using my new custom built Futhark guitar… and it is making all the difference! It is simply crushing – like the guy with his head in the vice once said.”
ENSLAVED guitarist Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal adds: “Our new album will continue where RIITIIR left off. It is extreme, progressive, and brutal. To me it sounds darker and heavier than before. I am sure that when we lay down all our crazy shit on the album, it will blow your minds!”
Main recordings for the 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.
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).
RIITIIR debuted at #8 on the American Billboard Heatseekers (New Artists) chart in October 2012 and appeared on numerous “Best Albums of 2012” lists around the world. It can be purchased in CD & vinyl format from the album’s Landing Page, from the Nuclear Blast USA Webshop, and digitally from iTunes & AmazonMP3.