Enslaved – Utgard: CD Album, Black Vinyl LP or Indies Exclusive Transparent Green Vinyl LP *Pre-Order


Product Description

Release Date Friday 2nd October
All pre orders will be dispatched/made ready for collection on that date.


CD Album £10.99
Black Vinyl LP £19.99
Indies Exclusive Transparent Green Vinyl LP £19.99


Side A
1.Fires In The Dark (5:59)
2.Jettegryta (4:56)
3.Sequence (6:39)
4.Homebound (5:29)
Side B
1.Utgardr (1:51)
2.Urjotun (4:21)
3.Flight Of Thought And Memory (6:22)
4.Storms Of Utgard (4:38)
5.Distant Seasons (4:31)

Even in the most primeval stages of their storied career, ENSLAVED was so much more than just music. Born on the
outskirts of the infamous upheaval of teenage arsonists more commonly associated with a genre called Norwegian Black
Metal, the Bergen based Vikings shared the inspiration and production ideals – yet steered clear of the non-musical
dramas that have overshadowed so much of the artistic value from this movement. Shaking the very foundations of the
young scene as early as 1993 with their iconic split release alongside fellow black wizards EMPEROR, they positivelyinvented the term and art form Viking Metal with their icy monuments “Vikingligr Veldi” and, of course, the immortal splendor that is “Frost” and “Eld”.

Never a sucker for stagnation, ENSLAVED explored uncharted progressive and psychedelic territories even back in the
“grim nineties” – placing them in a unique position of both bearers of tradition as well as explorers into the unknown. Now,
almost 30 years after changing the name of their adolescent death metal combo PHOBIA and advancing towards a more
frostbitten and pagan black metal dirge, ENSLAVED has become a worldwide phenomenon, enthralling their listeners
with music at once grim and sublime, effortlessly proving that it is indeed not a problem at all to sound like the
sophisticated love child of KING CRIMSON and BATHORY.

With the nucleus of the band still and forever consisting of childhood companions Ivar Bjørnson (guitars) and Grutle
Kjellson (vocals), ENSLAVED have perennially and carefully reinvented, refined and progressed their highly inventive
brand of extreme metal to a wholly unique level, fluently combining blistering black metal with warm prog rock and archaic
folklore with psychedelic thrall. “E”, their fourteenth album, released back in 2017, proved their worth by bringing a certain
metaphysical plane to their very own interpretation of Nordic mythology, runes and the sacredness in profanity. “The
album cycle for ‘E’ was the most intense we did so far,” an enthusiastic Bjørnson exclaims. “We covered more territory
than ever before and gladly realized we got noticed more outside the extreme metal scene.” It was a thrilling but weird
time, he recalls, when one day they were playing their groundbreaking “Frost” in its entirety only to churn out their more
psychedelic, soothing tunes the next day at a prog festival. Only now it becomes apparent that this was only the beginning
of yet another journey.

Enter “Utgard”. Enter a record brimful with northern magic. Let all those other bands sing about Thor’s mighty hammer
and poor Odin hanging from that tree in miserable weather conditions. ENSLAVED are looking behind the mirror, tracing
the origins of the well-known fables of the northern world back into each and every one of us. Their new album is a
journey into and through scary Utgard. Sounds dark? You betcha! “Utgard” shows ENSLAVED both unleashed and
thought-through, a lethal combination unfurling a potential that’s easily rekindling the furor of their early works while
dancing gracefully through their most ambitious, most haunting and most musical tunes yet. A contradiction? Life itself is a
contradiction. And yet we all live to prove it wrong. “Utgard can be a very scary place, but that’s exactly what this album is
about,” Grutle says. “Conquering fear and living with the beings found in this place.”

ENSLAVED in 2020 is a band in stellar form, a band at its most existentialist and self-conscious, proud Bergeners bearing
the torch of their hometowns’ extraordinary musical history. “Utgard” shows them at a stage where simply everything
they touch turns to gold. Icy black metal anthems walk hand in hand with refined prog rock gems and primordial, dark folk
sorcery. It’s ENSLAVED to the bone. And yet again a band that cast off its old skin, delivering some of their shortest
songs in years while still packing them with glimmering detail. Bjørnson nods his head reverentially. “Creating this album
was truly special. We almost felt we were in Utgard all the time, we were so invested in this concept. Plus, we got a lot of
help from the weather gods. We started recording in October 2019 and were finished with mastering on the morning of
Christmas eve – or Grutle’s eve, given that this is his birthday. In that whole period, I don’t think I experienced more than
five minutes of bright light outside.” Even while mixing this sublime effort with Jens Bogren in his Fascination Street
Studios in Sweden, they found themselves in a snowstorm raging through the Swedish woods. Still, fun was had, as
Grutle puts it: “Everybody was pulling into the same direction and really wanted to achieve something great here. I think
we never had better recording sessions!”

The unusually rollicking rock’n’roll touch of ‘Urjotun’ or the archaic voice from the deep that is ‘Utgardr’, the raging force
of ‘Flight Of Thought And Memory’ or the elegiac final curtain ‘Distant Seasons’ show ENSLAVED more open, more
focused and simply more brilliant than ever. Also to Bjørnson, “Utgard” is truly special. “We have albums that are steps
and we have some that are milestones,” he says and Grutle nods in agreement. “I personally think ‘Utgard’ is a milestone
along the lines of “Frost” or “Below The Lights”.” Time will tell, of course, but hearing a 42 year old veteran of the
Norwegian metal scene talk that fondly and enthused about his 15 th studio record is restoring a lot of faith in the concept of
long-running bands. Maybe that’s why even after 30 years, ENSLAVED still refuse to lower their standards. Quite the
contrary, in fact: They always find new ways to surpass themselves by looking back at their career. “During the recordings
I had to think of the time when we went to the studio with only 25,000 Norwegian kroner to record “Frost”,” Bjørnson
fondly remembers. “We had like five days to record it all. And we did it. Maybe I needed that reminder think too much and
just play the best you can.” Boy, it sure helped!

Additional Information

Weight 550 g
Select Format:

CD Album £10.99, Black Vinyl LP £19.99, Indies Exclusive Transparent Green Vinyl LP £19.99,