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ENSLAVED: TRACK-BY-TRACK COMMENTARY SERIES, PART 8

ENSLAVED: TRACK-BY-TRACK COMMENTARY PART 8 - 2012-09-28 00:00

2012-09-28 00:00 - The following is the final installment of an 8-part series where bassist/vocalist/lyricist Grutle Kjellson and rhythm guitarist/songwriter/lyricist Ivar Bjørnson of the Norwegian progressive extreme metal band ENSLAVED offer insight on the tracks comprising their twelfth studio album, RIITIIR, due out in Europe today and in North America on October 9th.

Kjellson on RIITIIR’s final track, “Forsaken”:

“The final music Ivar wrote and the final lyrics I wrote actually ended up on the last song this time around. It also ended up being our longest song in ages. This one though, could not be placed anywhere else, being perhaps the most diverse song on the album. It starts off almost punk-like (ouch!), but as long as it´s only punk-like, it’s okay. There are good punk acts, too, like the Ramones for instance… but that’s miles beside the point. It starts off with raw energy, moves into nearly Tangerine Dream-like soundscapes (me and Ivar share a love for ‘70s German electronica), moves further into a Pink Floyd-like bridge, explodes into a Hypocrisy-styled epic Death Metal theme before it all ends with something that Pete Steel could have written. So this song pretty much sums up, at least, some of the variety of inspiration we have gotten from our idols - hopefully by just taking inspiration, rather than stealing. Others will have to be the judge of that…heh, heh. On the lyrical side, these are some of those lyrics that have been lying in the back of my mind for ages, just waiting to be written down. I met the genius of Robert Lowe from OM (no, not the actor, nor the Candlemass vocalist) at the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg (NL) this year, and we were introduced by our mutual friend Stephen ‘Nitwit’ O´Malley. We soon realized that we shared a lot of common thoughts on the ways of viewing the world, and I invited him to co-write a lyric together with me for the next album. Unfortunately our schedules fucked up a bit, so there just wasn’t time enough to do so. But the themes we largely discussed at the Roadburn Festival ended up in my lyrics for ‘Forsaken.’ Thanks a lot for the inspiration, Rob, and I hope we can fulfill the task sometime later. The lyrics landed on the outskirts of the concept overbuilding of RIITIIR, but it deals with the decadence that lays a dark shadow on all societies around the world, and it is thus something all of us unfortunately have in common…”

Bjørnson on “Forsaken”:

“This song is a bit of a rarity, in the sense that it is a last-song-on-the-album that was written specifically for that purpose. The more usual route is to write material until something tells me we have an album (and then make up the order of songs), but this time this something was more specific: ‘You have an album, just write the finisher.’ Again, who am I to question these things? A thing that is striking is how crystallized the singers' work are: both Grutle’s various vocal identities throughout the song and then Herbrand [Larsen]'s amazing performance on the outro. They're both breaking new ground for themselves and the band here. Then I am going to pat myself on the back (on the behind would be weird!) for my little comeback on the piano on the intro and outro, as well as paying homage to the heroes of the synthesizers and sequencers of the ‘70s. It is all in all a fitting conclusion for the album, and creates some space at the end of a pretty dense album. Hopefully others will also have the same feeling after hearing it: wanting to hear the entire album again...”

Visit the ENSLAVED Facebook page to read commentaries on all the new songs on RIITIIR.




All editions of RIITIIR are now available for pre-order from the Nuclear Blast USA Webshop. Bundles include an exclusive album artwork t-shirt + an exclusive 1-inch pin.

RIITIIR’s standard edition track listing is:

01. Thoughts Like Hammers
02. Death In The Eyes Of Dawn
03. Veilburner
04. Roots Of The Mountain
05. Riitiir
06. Materal
07. Storm Of Memories
08. Forsaken

The deluxe digi-pak edition includes a bonus DVD featuring: The Making of RIITIIR, The Band, The Studios, The Artwork.

The track listing for RIITIIR’s North American 2 LP bone & charcoal splatter vinyl double-gatefold – which is limited to 1,000 copies and can be pre-ordered starting October 9th - is:

Side A: 01. Thoughts Like Hammers // 02. Death In The Eyes Of Dawn
Side B: 03. Veilburner // 04. Roots Of The Mountain
Side C: 05. Riitiir // 06. Materal
Side D: 07. Storm Of Memories // 08. Forsaken

ENSLAVED’s RIITIIR is the follow-up to Axioma Ethica Odini, which debuted in North America at #16 on the Billboard Heatseekers (New Artists) chart. Axioma Ethica Odini also won the 2010 Spellemann Award (the Norwegian equivalent of a U.S. Grammy Award) in the category “Best Metal Album,” won Terrorizer Magazine’s Reader’s Poll for “Best Album of 2010,” ranked #5 in Decibel Magazine’s “Top 40 Extreme Albums of 2010” list, and appeared on over 65 “Best Albums of 2010” lists in North America, repeatedly ranking in the Top 10. In Germany, Metal Hammer Magazine awarded ENSLAVED the “Album Of The Year” title; Dutch magazine Aardschok ranked Axioma Ethica Odini at #9.

ENSLAVED will be performing in this year’s Barge To Hell cruise from Miami to the Caribbean beginning on December 3rd.

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