Norwegian progressive/psychedelic extreme metal trailblazers ENSLAVED will release "The Sleeping Gods" via Scion A/V as a free downloadable five-song EP on May 10. Following up on last year's near-universally praised "Axioma Ethica Odini", the EP finds the quintet once again expanding the boundaries of what metal can be, deftly incorporating influences from across the musical spectrum. Mainly recorded in Solslottet Studio in Bergen, and partly in the band's own home studio, the effort finds the group sounding leaner and more confident than ever, part and parcel of maintaining a presence at the foreground of the international metal movement for 20 years.Throughout its 30-minute playing time, the EP sways and punches in equal measure, in no small part due to the dexterous and powerful rhythm section of vocalist/bassist Grutle Kjellson and drummer Cato Bkkevold. Herbrand Larsen's swirling keyboard textures form an ether around Ice Dale and Ivar Bjrnson's guitars, which ooze tasteful sophistication and melodic sensibility in equal measure with their crushing, impenetrable force. This release is a must have for both ENSLAVED fans and fans of progressive music in general. In its continual effort to show support for the arts, Scion covers all production, licensing and distribution costs for the A/V projects and all proceeds go directly back to the label and artists involved. "It's exciting to be collaborating with ENSLAVED on this release. We feel the pairing is vital as we aim for the label's approach to embody the same sense of forward thinking as the band's music," says Jeri Yoshizu, manager of sales promotions for Scion. "The Sleeping Gods" track listing: 01. Heimvegen
02. Alu Misyrki
05. The Sleeping Gods ENSLAVED was honored in the "Metal" category at the 39th annual Spellemann awards (the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammy Awards). The largest and oldest Norwegian music awards show was held on March 5 at the Spektrum in Oslo, Norway and was broadcast live on the Norwegian channel TV2. This marks the fourth consecutive time that ENSLAVED won the Spellemann award in the "Metal" category. "Axioma Ethica Odini", the eleventh studio album from ENSLAVED, sold around 1,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 16 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. "Axioma Ethica Odini" was released in Norway on September 20, 2010, in the rest of Europe on September 27, 2010 and in North America on September 28, 2010.