Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson of the Norwegian psychedelic post-black metal band ENSLAVED recently gave an in-depth explanation of the artwork of the bands's forthcoming album, "Axioma Ethica Odini", to the visitors of the web site of the German edition of Metal Hammer magazine. You can watch the clip at this location.
"Axioma Ethica Odini" will be released in Europe on September 27 and in North America on September 28. The CD's cover artwork was created by the Norwegian artist Truls Espedal, who has painted every ENSLAVED album cover since 2001's "Monumension".
"Axioma Ethica Odini" track listing:
01. Ethica Odini
04. The Beacon
08. Night Sight
"Axioma Ethica Odini" will be made available as a special edition in gatefold seven-inch format with the entire album on CD and a seven-inch vinyl single as a bonus, as well as a regular jewel case and double vinyl. The bonus seven-inch single will include the songs "Jotunblod (Doom)" and "Migration".
Commented ENSLAVED songwriter and guitarist Ivar Bjørnson: "ENSLAVED wanted to do something really special for the bonus edition of the new album, 'Axioma Ethica Odini'. It was decided to go ahead and record two very special songs, in a very special environment.
"The first song on the EP is 'Jotunblod (Doom)'. This is basically ENSLAVED 'covering' ENSLAVED.
"The original 'Jotunblod' can be found on the legendary 'Frost' album from back in 1994. The self-cover version, 'Jotunblod (Doom)', was initially specially made for the Roadburn festival 2010, where ENSLAVED were Artists in Residence (altogether the audience saw four ENSLAVED-related concerts that weekend).
"Why a doom version?
"This version was made to honor that festival and its goers for their open-mindedness on one side. On the other side: ENSLAVED wanted to challenge themselves by re-arranging one of their most iconic songs. The result was so effectual that the band wanted to make a one-off recording of the version; that is how it ended up as one side of this bonus 7" EP.
"The song is based on the chaotic forces of the Giants, the Jotuns, from Northern Mythology.
"While the original recording from 'Frost' is a somewhat obvious sound portrait of these forces (fast, chaotic and at the same time, complex and melodic), this doom version highlights another specter of the primeval forces: the heavy, from-the-core-of-the-Earth-type-sluggish and unrelenting march of chaos that can't be stopped.
"The other song on the 7" is another one that hasn’t been recorded before, but has been played live! 'Migration' is, plain and simple, song number six from the obscure collaboration between ENSLAVED and Norwegian metal-jazzers SHINING that took place at Molde International Jazz Fest in 2008.
"'Migration' represents the atmosphere that ENSLAVED brought to table in the collaboration. It represents both the escapism and extreme presence delivered in ENSLAVED's music and concepts: an existential paradox in itself.
"These two songs were recorded in the woods of Valevåg — a small village on the West coast of Norway that is the birth place of ENSLAVED's Grutle Kjellson. ENSLAVED got help from local farmers with driving their backline and recording equipment deep into the woods of Valevåg (close to Le Cimitiere de Marin, made famous by Norwegian composer Fartein Valen). The séance was recorded by Iver Sandøy (who co-produced the drums for 'Axioma Ethica Odini') and mixed in his Solslottet Studios.
"The thought behind releasing the album as a 7" EP with the album inside hails from ENSLAVED's undying vinyl and patriotism and is a tribute to the eternal principle of an album release being something special and important!"
ENSLAVED's eleventh studio album was recorded at three different studios in Bergen, Norway: 1) Duper; 2) Earshot (belonging to ENSLAVED members Herbrand Larsen [keyboardist/backing vocalist] and Ice Dale [lead guitarist]); and 3) Peersonal Sound (owned by rhythm guitarist/songwriter Ivar Bjørnson). It is the follow-up to 2008's "Vertebrae", which sold over 1,100 copies its first week of release in North America and debuted on the American Billboard Hard Music chart at #11 and on the Billboard Heatseekers chart at #49. In ENSLAVED's native country, "Vertebrae" entered the official chart at #20 and earned the band its third consecutive Spellemann award (the largest and oldest Norwegian music awards show, which is often referred to as the country's equivalent to the American Grammy Awards). "Vertebrae" also won Terrorizer magazine's coveted "Album of the Year" award for 2008.
ENSLAVED will support the Norwegian symphonic black metal band DIMMU BORGIR on a European tour in September and October. Also appearing on the bill is SAHG.