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Enslaved Unveil Details of 14th Studio Album ‘E’

Nuclear Blast
Nuclear Blast

Norway’s Enslaved were among the early pioneers of the second wave of black metal, playing a highly intellectual style that would find them branching out into various progressive directions throughout the ensuing decades. With Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson once again serving as the band’s creative core, they’ve crafted their 14th studio album, simply titled E, due Oct. 13.

Don’t let the single-letter title fool you, as this record promises to be another rich exploration of Enslaved’s black metal foundation with walls of ’70s prog and shoegaze elements resting on top. E brings six new songs in the standard release format (two additional tracks come with the Digipak) and the elongated runtimes of the songs have always been standard for the band and will regularly surpass seven minutes.

Roping in guest musicians on E, the Norwegians tapped Wardruna’s Einar Kvitrafn Selvik, fluitist Daniel Mage and saxaphonist Kjetil Møster. “Hiindsiight” and “Feathers of Eolh” are among two of the songs said to feature guests and the you can check out the full track listing below. Also, look out for “Storm Son” to arrive on Friday (Aug. 11).

Guitarist and key songwriter Ivar Bjørnson commented on the significance of the album’s title and explained the conceptual aspect of what fans can expect from this latest slab of music from Enslaved,

The concept of the album lies in both it’s meaning as a letter in the latin alphabet, and it’s runic reference: the rune ‘Ehwaz,’ that is depicted as an ‘M’ when drawn as rune (just to make sure it gets really confusing) – the runes are drawn to look like what they literally mean. Ehwaz (pronounced and used as what’s known as ‘E,’ but drawn as an ‘M’) looks like and means ‘horse,’ which is closely linked to its esoteric meaning; which is ‘trust’ and ‘co-operation’. One of mankind’s oldest and deepest pairings/collaborations with any ‘outside’ entities is with the horse. When they were first tamed and utilized, there must have arisen the notion of some esoteric link between the two; now we could move swiftly, escape faster and even eat and drink from the animal (both horse milk and horse blood), and of course show off and brag before our enemies and peers with the most spectacular horses.
So, no, it is not about horses! It is about the symbioses that surrounds us; which are vital to our existence, to our development – on all scales: man and vessel (for instance horse, yes), a person and its significant other, child and parent, musician and instrument, chaos and order, subconscious and conscious, Oden and Sleipnir – wisdom and communication. There are many levels and variations of this concept on the album; the duality of man and nature, present and past personalities within one self, the conscious fear and the subconscious drive. And other symbiosis.

E will be released through Nuclear Blast and pre-orders are live at the label’s webstore for both physical and digital editions as well as plenty of bundle options and a few different runs of colored vinyl.

Enslaved, Track Listing
01. “Storm Son” (10:54)
02. “The River’s Mouth” (5:12)
03. “Sacred Horse” (8:12)
04. “Axis of the Worlds” (7:49)
05. “Feathers of Eolh” (8:06)
06. “Hiindsiight” (9:32)
Bonus Tracks Available on the Digipak:
07. “Djupet” (7:39)
08. “What Else Is There?” (Röyksopp cover) (4:44)

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