Keyboardist Herbrand Larsen has announced his departure from Norwegian progressive extreme metal icons ENSLAVED.
Commented ENSLAVED vocalist/bassist Grutle Kjellson: "Friends of ENSLAVED, brothers and sisters! Nothing lasts forever, and we have something to announce. Our keyboardist and vocalist for the last 13 years, Herbrand Larsen is leaving the band. There is no drama in connection with his departure, it was entirely his own decision, and we part ways as friends and with no bad blood in between us.
"We want to thank Herbrand for his duties in ENSLAVED in all these years, for standing alongside us on our adventures all over the world. We had some really good times on the road, in the recording studios and in our practice space. We raise our glasses, and wish you all the best on your next voyage! Thank you, friend!"
Larsen added: "After 13 years of being a part of this amazing band, it saddens me to say that I will be leaving ENSLAVED.
"It was not an easy decision to come to! I love ENSLAVED and will always do.
"There is no drama or anger involved in this. I think we all understand why this is the best decision both for me and the band.
"I don't have that 100% drive anymore, the drive you need to be in a band like ENSLAVED. Only 99% and that is not enough. It's hard to explain but this is how it is.
"I remember all the shows we have done together. All the places we have been and all the fans that we've met. I remember meeting fans, telling me that our music really means something to them. I remember traveling places I never thought I would see. I remember working with extremely talented people. I remember tough times, sad times but most of all, all the good times. You have all been a huge part of my life and will still be. For that, I'm truly grateful!
"I'm looking forward to spend more time in the studio. Recording, producing and mixing music. That's where I want my focus and my drive to be.
"To Arve, Cato, Grutle and Ivar, thank you for your friendship, your creativity and your support. I wouldn't be who I am today if it wasn't for you guys. I am sure you will be even better, stronger and more successful in the future. And you will still continue to be my friends and a big part of my life. Thank you!"
ENSLAVED's thirteenth studio album, "In Times", was produced by bandmembers Ivar Bjørnson, Grutle Kjellson and Herbrand Larsen together with Iver Sandøy. Mixing was completed by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden.
The main recording sessions for "In Times" took place at Duper Studios and Solslottet Studio in Bergen, Norway with additional recordings sessions at Conclave & Earshot Studios (presided over by ENSLAVED members Herbrand Larsen and Ice Dale), and Ivar Bjørnson's Peersonal Sound Studios. Additional experimentation and sonic exploration was conducted deep in the woods of Valevåg south of Bergen where a mobile studio recorded additional sounds.