Norwegian progressive extreme metal icons ENSLAVED will release "The Sleeping Gods - Thorn" compilation this November via ByNorse Music. A full-length album comprised of rare material from 2010-2011, "The Sleeping Gods - Thorn" is a unique collection of experimental material connecting with the band's early roots.
The seven tracks comprising "The Sleeping Gods - Thorn" originally appeared on extremely limited EPs between ENSLAVED's "Axioma Ethica Odini" and "Riitiir" full-lengths and were recorded both in Solslottet Studio in Bergen, as well as the band members' own studios and partly in the deep woods of Valevaag on the South Western Coast of Norway. Like the songs themselves, the production is a mix of old and new; high tech and no-tech — a mix of concepts that have been essential in achieving the signature sound ENSLAVED has become notorious for today. Members Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson co-produced the material together with longtime collaborator Iver Sandøy.
The album includes lyrics sung in Norwegian, English, and Old Norse, with themes centered on mythology and the esoteric side of the runes, as well as contrasting the Norse Ways as a polytheistic belief system to the monotheistic plague of the Big World Religions. The music nods respectfully to the wildly varying deities that make up the pantheon of inspiration for ENSLAVED, both "then" and "now." There are traces of the proto black metal of BATHORY, the classic rock and heavy metal of the '70s and '80s, the synthesized and sequenced masters of the '70s, prog-rock, world/Norse folk music, Norwegian black metal of the '90s, modern classical music, goth rock a la FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM, and much more.
Tying he package together are the extensive liner notes Kjellson and a beautiful new layout by Costin Chioreanu of Twilight 13 Media (Roadburn festival, OPETH, DARKTHRONE, AT THE GATES) whose mesmerizing new illustrations display a unique symbiosis between two of our times' most exciting visual and sonic artists.
"The Sleeping Gods - Thorn" will see release on November 11 on limited-edition blue vinyl (webshop edition),black vinyl, digipak CD, and digitally via ByNorse Music. Preorders will start on September 30.
"The Sleeping Gods - Thorn" lineup:
Ivar Bjørnson - guitar, synth
Grutle Kjellson - vocals, bass
Cato Bekkevold - drums
Ice Dale - lead guitar