Enslaved have released a new single and video from “Heimdal”, their 16th studio album due out on March 3rd 2023. “Forest Dweller” launches with progressive splendor, guiding the listener into a churning, psychedelic journey through archaic Norse folklore. One might ask what lessons we can divine from our celestial ancestors? We might never understand their true intentions, but their echo will live on regardless. Enslaved‘s Grutle Kjellson commented:
“To me ‘Forest Dweller’ was the most immediate song on the album, at least in its earliest form as an instrumental demo. I spent quite some time to get into some of the other songs of the album, but this one seemed somehow logical, well logical by Enslaved standards that is. I had an idea for a lyric, and Ivar’s amazing and diverse riffs on this one made it easy to pan out the scripture. I made a rough plan on what to sing over it, and we actually ended up using some parts of those recordings on the album!
The song sort of showcases our representative samples of inspiration: Led Zep, Genesis, Destruction, Iron Maiden and David Bowie, to mention a schizophrenic tapestry of influences. It mirrors in the lyrics as well, which deals about both darkness and light in connection to the nature of Heimdal.”
“Heimdal”, is both a departure and a communion with roots forged over three decades ago in the turbulent birth throes of Norway’s black metal scene. The record is named after “Heimdal”, arguably the most mysterious entity in Nordic mythology.
The record features psychedelic track “Caravans To The Outer Worlds” from last year’s EP of the same name. Album bonus versions contain an extra track, “Gangandi“, alongside a Blu-Ray copy of 2021’s stunning Otherworldly Big Band Experience streamed event – the band’s boldest project to date, featuring fellow Norwegian prog band Shaman Elephant. The kaleidoscopic stage show features a stellar setlist, covering Enslaved’s career, both past and present.
“Heimdal” was produced by Enslaved’s own Ivar Bjørnson, Iver Sandøy and Grutle Kjellson. Mixing was handled by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios, and the final treatment was mastered by Tony Lindgren. The concept and lyrics for Heimdal was, as always, developed by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson in tandem.
The album was recorded primarily at Solslottet Studios in Bergen, which is owned by Iver Sandøy. Solslottet is a satellite of the well-known Duper Studios, where the drums were recorded and engineered by Iver himself, with assistance from Vegard Lemme. The main guitars, bass, pianos, organs, and vocals were also recorded at Solslottet. Arve ‘Ice Dale’ Isdal recorded his guitar leads at his own Earshot & Conclave Studios. The final touches and a few experimental ideas were added at the Overlook Hotel using Solslottet’s mobile studio rig. All music for “Heimdal” was written and demoed at Ivar Bjørnson’s own Crow’s Nest studio.