Enslaved Guitarist Names Which Album He Thinks Best Defines the Band’s Sound


On last week’s episode of The MetalSucks Podcast, we spoke to guitarist and band mastermind Ivar Bjørnson about the band’s new album, Utgard, what new drummer Iver Sandøy brings to the band both behind the kit and vocally, the band’s deep love for Deep Purple and more.

Utgard will be the 15th record in the band’s catalogue, and they’ve been at it since the early ’90s — that’s a whole lot of material for newer listeners to catch up on, and the band’s sound has morphed several times throughout that span — so we asked Ivar which record he feels represents Enslaved’s voice to those who might not have been along for the whole journey. Here’s how he replied:

“Yeah, good question. I think if you’re not going to go with the latest [‘Utgard’], which I think is by far the best representation of the entire catalog, I think maybe starting at the middle with ‘Below the Lights’ [2003] is a good entry point. Because that shows exactly the point where Enslaved is deciding to continue carrying along our roots from the early days, the more sort of extreme metal sound, but also making that choice of venturing into something new.

“If you’re listening to ‘Below the Lights’ and the proggy parts appeal to you, the melodic stuff, then it’s a good movement to go towards the newer stuff from there on. If the sort of faster things are most appealing, you can go backwards and get more of that. And then sort of make a decision if you wanna go the other way afterwards, if you’re content with that.

“I guess thats how we view it ourselves: a fan is a fan. If you’re a fan of the first mini-album and the two first full-lengths and that’s it, that’s still being a fan and supporting the band. Or if you just like the new one, that’s also fine. But luckily it seems like there’s a lot of people who enjoy all things. Time will tell if I’m right, but I think this 15th album is wrapping up a lot of things, it seems. It’s the feeling I have. Some of the choices from the earlier catalog that might have seemed widely experimental at that time make more sense once you hear the new one.”

Utgard comes out on October 2. You can listen to our whole chat with Ivar, as well as three singles from the album, below.

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