Enslaved appears to be announcing their new album On Wings Over Utgard on Friday alongside a new song. You can check out 20 seconds of the track below, which is pretty much all choirs and organs.
The new record is also Enslaved's first with new drummer Iver Sandøy, who replaced Cato Bekkevold in 2018. Our Dillon Collins recently sat down with founding member and guitarist Ivar Bjørnson to discuss the new record.
It's a totally new Enslaved record and it's a new Enslaved. I guess you could say the lineup change was the ignition for it, but that it would become such a different building that just developed.
I would say the reason why we chose to use the same infrastructure with the studios wasn't a conscious thing, but I'm suspecting that we might have wanted to keep some things the same because we were feeling that that we were entering a new phase. We want to preserve roots and we want to make sure that Enslaved, the backbone and the vertebrate is still intact. That grounding and anchoring in sort of certain well-known patterns like where to record is a good way to ensure that connection.
They also talked about how the drummer change would affect the new music, and how Sandøy came to replace Bekkevold.
With Cato leaving it was really a substantial part that the mid era Enslaved lineup was over in a sense. We felt that was very significant, but also significant as an event that we as a band should really respect.
What we did is instead of looking for a drummer, very shortly after Cato talked about the departure, it was very clear to us that the only option was to have Iver join the band. We've worked with him in the studio for many, many years. He'd been substituting for Cato at shows. We knew this guy would have to be part of the band. So it was not so much an audition, but more of a threatening situation where he was just told you have to join the band (laughs). He didn't have a choice and finally understood that. That really made the feeling of the band's persistence, that there's a will and a real power and real urge to continue and develop and live within the entity of Enslaved that was really, really inspiring. And everybody just felt that.