Norwegian progressive extreme metallers ENSLAVED offer their sixth 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.
“It’s our last day in Duper Studios before we move across the hall into Solslottet Studios for the next Metal Olympics event: Grutle’s vocals!” states an enthusiastic Ivar Bjørnson, ENSLAVED’s guitarist & composer. “It has been a great week and the best possible start for this process that will end up in some kind of epic release early next year. Today I’ve been laying down some e-bow Fripp-worship, some atmospheric guitars so soaked in reverb and echo that the speakers are wet, some Mellotron keys, and even a line or two of the good old piano.”
“It’s more aggressive,” adds album co-producer Iver Sandøy about the new material, “balancing the progressive feel of the previous few albums with a more evident nod to the band’s darker history.”
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.