Norway's ENSLAVED have set Mar. 3 as the release date through Osmose Productions for their new album, "Below The Lights". The follow-up to 2001's "Monumension", "Below The Lights" speaks for itself, but again we are proud to say we have gone further down the road of exploration," according to guitarist Ivar Bjørnson, "And on the other hand it is darker and contains more references to the early days of ENSLAVED in the sense of more ambience and structure to the songs. The progressive and experimental elements are still there, more refined and subtle than ever. You will also find pieces of traditional Northern music, this time more incorporated in the ENSLAVED core material.
"Melodic elements and complex harmonics is also a prominent feature on 'Below The Lights'," Ivar added in his official statement. "After returning from the UK in March this year (02) we all realized that R. Kronheim's days in the band had come to an end. Extremely unhealthy and unsociable habits combined with strong personalities and different musical tastes on both sides made it impossible to continue. But hey! That didn't stop us, and with the added force of lead guitarist A. Isdal, we went on to make 'Below The Lights'. The quality of the arrangements and the level of musicianship should prove that the core of ENSLAVED more than survived the changes.
"The cover art is once again under the brush of Truls Espedahl (who also made the artwork for 'Monumension'). This time the artwork will follow the music and lyrics even closer, and a surreal, dark and magnificent piece of art will meet you in the shops 03.03.03.
"After the finishing of the album, [drummer] Dirge Rep decided to leave the band. The reason is quite simple he is burned out according to himself. No point in arguing with that. Goodbye and thanx for the drumwork, brother-in-arms! We have a replacement for live and studio sessions in Freddy B., the drummer some of you might remember from the UK tour in March 2002 when Dirge sat at home with a broken foot!"
The complete track listing for "Below The Lights" is as follows:
01. The Crossing
03. A Darker Place
04. Queen of Night
05. A Dead Stare
06. As Fire Swept Clean the Earth
07. Ridicule Swarm