In the seventh of nine installments, bassist/vocalist Grutle Kjellson and rhythm guitarist/songwriter Ivar Bjørnson of the progressive/psychedelic Norwegian black metallers ENSLAVED offer a track-by-track commentary on the songs that will appear on the band's new album, "Axioma Ethica Odini", which is scheduled for release in Norway on September 20, in the rest of Europe on September 27 and in North America on September 28.
Grutle on "Singular":
"This was definitely the song we spent the longest time working with. It was hard to come up with ideas for arrangements, and we tried out a lot of different stuff. In this process, however, we enjoyed the song more and more. When we finally finished writing the arrangements, it was a real pleasure to record it! A fantastic song, full of surprises and changes. Without a doubt the most progressive song this time. Gotta love it!"
Ivar on "Singular":
"This is where the 'last part' of the album starts: For me, the first four songs represent the extreme metal tradition of ENSLAVED, while 'Axioma' and 'Giants' represents a transition into the last part where we are showing more of our influences from so-called progressive music and classic rock. In 'Singular', I would say that it is more the form than the actual tonality and chord progressions that are pointing towards these influences: The riffs are on the extreme/ black side with the occasional nod to classic thrash metal. It is classic ENSLAVED in the sense that it is rule-breaking, somewhat chaotic at first listen, yet logical at the same time, building intensity towards a droning stretch towards the end. Conceptually, the song deals with the concept of being Singular, the Power of One — not to be confused with 'Goth-alone.' For me, it could be dealing with the fruits of taking the pain and disasters as natural, valuable parts of the journey, and the pleasure of reaping what you've sown."
Check out previous installments at this location.
Audio samples of all nine tracks that are set to appear on "Axioma Ethica Odini" are available for streaming on Amazon.co.uk.
ENSLAVED's Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson recently gave an in-depth explanation of the "Axioma Ethica Odini" artwork to the visitors of the web site of the German edition of Metal Hammer magazine. You can watch the clip at this location.
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".
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.