Norway's progressive extreme metallers ENSLAVED have entered the studio to begin recording their thirteenth album for an early 2015 release via Nuclear Blast. Main recordings for the as-yet-untitled CD are taking place at Duper and Solslottet Studios in Bergen, Norway, with additional tracking 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" seven-inch single in 2012. The effort is being produced by bandmembers Ivar Bjørnson, Grutle Kjellson and Herbrand Larsen together with Iver Sandøy. Mixing will be done by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden. Cover artwork will once again be created by longtime artist and "sixth ENSLAVED member" Truls Espedal, who has painted all of the band's album covers since 2001's "Monumension".
From his home in Bergen, Norway, ENSLAVED guitarist, songwriter, and founding member Ivar Bjørnson takes some time to provide the following update:
"I feel that I have delivered basic material that is rock solid. "I have poured my very life and heart into these compositions while the rest of the band have refined it, shaped it, and delivered it like their very lives depended on it. "It has been challenging to keep up the pace with the way the songs wanted to go; life flows its ways and takes its turns regardless of your artistic ambitions. However, the music led the way through the fog and I just followed, and never doubting the oncoming album for a second."
ENSLAVED's twelfth studio album, "RIITIIR", sold around 2,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 8 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. ENSLAVED's previous album, "Axioma Ethica Odini", opened with 1,400 units back in September 2010 to debut at No. 16 on the Top New Artist Albums chart. ENSLAVED's previous two CDs — "Vertebrae" (2008) and "Axioma Ethica Odini" (2010) — were released via Indie Recordings in Europe and Nuclear Blast in North America.