Enslaved was formed in 1991 by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson. Joined by drummer Trym Torson, they did their first demo in the summer of 1992. Enslaved released the legendary mini album “Hordanes Land” in 1993 (this was released also as a split-CD with Emperor’s self-titled MLP). Enslaved’s debut album “Vikingligr Veldi” came during the spring of 1994, at the same time the label base was moved to French Osmose Productions, and “Frost” was released late 1994. This all led to the “Winter War Europe Tour ‘95”, and the first Norwegian Black/ Extreme tour ever in the US, Canada and Mexico during ’95. The tours were successes, yet Trym Torson had to move on, and joined Emperor.
“Eld” was recorded with drummer Harald Helgeson and released in 1997. However, working with Harald was no permanent solution. Dirge Rep (then Gehenna) and R. Kronheim were hired, and became full members during the making of “Blodhemn” (’98).
Enslaved released an important milestone in 2000 with “Mardraum (Beyond the Within)”. This aural nightmare of an album sent shock waves through the Extreme Metal scene with their experimental, innovative approach. The band followed up with “Monumension” in 2001, and again the band was shocked to see the positive response to their “no rules” approach to Extreme Metal.
R. Kronheim had to leave in March 2002, while the band now saw a synthesis between the original thesis (the “Blacker” Enslaved) and the anti-thesis forming from “Mardraum” onwards (the progressive yet darker Enslaved) – “Below the Lights” was released in 2003, and presented the perfect blend of power, tradition, progressive elements and dark Psychedelia. The process and hard work had taken its toll on drummer Dirge, and he left the band.
A new line-up was put together after the recording of “Below the Lights”; introducing old-timer Cato Bekkevold (Red Harvest founder), Arve Isdal and Herbrand Larsen. In short, Enslaved started climbing new heights with their live performances, adding strong visual elements in the shape of video art and more. The new line-up released the album “ISA” in Oct/Nov ’04 (Feb ’05 in the US). The album put Enslaved at the very forefront of contemporary Extreme Metal, and the following European Tour was rewarded with great success. Enslaved received both the Norwegian Grammy and the independent Alarm Price for “ISA”. The band appeared at various festivals throughout 2005, and released a live-DVD “Return to Yggdrasil”.
The success of “ISA” and the new line-up inspired new material to arise, and plans were soon made to record a new album. The critically acclaimed “RUUN” was released in 2006, followed by a massive festival summer, and a European Tour including the UK in September. “RUUN” received numerous great reviews from magazines and websites worldwide, www.blabbermouth.com concluded that “The metal world needs more bands this willing to throw out the rule book and go wherever their mad Muse takes them.”
Early 2007 Enslaved set out on a month-long tour in USA and Canada, co-headlining with Dark Funeral. Meanwhile back home, “RUUN” was rewarded with another Norwegian Grammy for Best Metal Album 2006. The US-tour was so successful that another tour was booked immediately, and Enslaved World Tour Part II will visit the US in November 2007, after festival shows, a European follow-up tour and more to be announced throughout 2007.
Line-up: Ivar Bjørnson (guitar), Grutle Kjellson (vocal & bass), Cato Bekkevold (drums), Arve Isdal (guitar), Herbrand Larsen (keyboard & vocal).