Ismael Tirado of MetalMachine.net conducted an interview with Grutle Kjellson (vocals/bass) of progressive/psychedelic Norwegian black metallers ENSLAVED prior to the band’s September 25, 2011 concert in New York City. You can now watch the chat below.
ENSLAVED were the recepients of this year’s Norwegian Artists And Songwriters Association honorary award. The award was presented to the band by the Norwegian minister of culture Anniken Huitfeldt on October 31.
ENSLAVED has received four Spellemann awards (the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammy Awards), toured the U.S., Europe and Asia. In addition to the bandmembers’ musical achievements, their interest, dedication and contribution to the Norwegian music industry was a significant reason for them receiving the Norwegian Artists And Songwriters Association award.
The Norwegian Artists And Songwriters Association honorary award was handed out, for the 10th time, by a jury consisting of the board at the Norwegian Artists And Songwriters Association. The award prize is a glass microphone made by glass artist Camilla Prytz, and the inscription reads as follows: “The prize is presented to a person or group that has done a significant effort to promote Norwegian music within the genres of which the Norwegian Artists And Songwriters Association represent; Pop / Rock / Related.”
ENSLAVED earlier in the year released “The Sleeping Gods” via Scion A/V as a free downloadable five-song EP. 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 Bækkevold. Herbrand Larsen‘s swirling keyboard textures form an ether around Ice Dale and Ivar Bjørnson‘s guitars, which ooze tasteful sophistication and melodic sensibility in equal measure with their crushing, impenetrable force.