Health & Safety Features
Enslaved was formed in 1991 by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson, and did their first demo “Yggdrasill” in the summer of 1992, while the legendary mini-album “Hordanes Land” was released the year after in 1993. Enslaved’s debut “Vikingligr Veldi” came in the spring of 1994, while the successful second album “Frost” was released already winter 1994. In many ways “Eld” (’97) marked the opening of a horizon-widening era for the band, with a small detour on “Blodhemn” the following year: Enslaved’s most furious and black-edged effort to date. “Mardraum (Beyond the Within)” was released in 2000; taking on an experimental and innovative approach for Extreme Metal. The band followed up with “Monumension” in 2001; receiving more (pleasantly) surprising positive response to their “no rules” approach to Extreme Metal. Many see an important milestone being “Below the Lights” (’03) – where the progressive yet darker Enslaved emerged. A new line-up was put together after the recording of “Below the Lights”, marking the opening of a new, shimmering chapter.
The new line-up released the album “Isa” in late 2004, and the album put Enslaved at the very forefront of contemporary Extreme Metal; both as a recording and live artist – proving the latter with the release of acclaimed live-DVD “Return to Yggdrasill”. “Ruun” was released in 2006, and received numerous great reviews from fans, magazines and websites worldwide. Early 2007 Enslaved sat out on their first full tour through USA and Canada since the late 90s; following up with treks all over Europe and more North America. Back in the studio the band conjured up “Vertebrae” (’08) together with mixer Joe Baresi – an album that spread across the globe like fire with extensive promotion and extensive touring. More inspired than ever the band worked on a new album throughout 2009, and started recording during the first weeks of 2010. The band’s first co-operation with mixer Jens Bogren; “Axioma Ethica Odini” received Enslaved’s 4th consecutive Norwegian Grammy in the Metal category (“Isa”, “Ruun” and “Vertebrae” receiving the three previous awards).
Enslaved continued to tour Norway, Europe and North America – and in 2012 they inked a worldwide deal with leading label Nuclear Blast Records. This all resulted in Enslaved’s groundbreaking 2012-album “Riitiir”, followed up throughout 2013 – with North American and European tours, and of course more festival appearances around the world. It also became the year when Enslaved finally made its way down under to Australia, a highly memorable and successful endeavor. 2014 were set to be the year when Enslaved took yet another step up, out, forward and whatever directions there are. The year started with supporting Amon Amarth. Then the summer and autumn saw the delivery of two highly public commissioned pieces in Norway, and the recording a new album. 2015 was one of the band’s busiest years; festivals were being played en masse, Enslaved’s own Ivar Bjørnson curated Roadburn 2015 (where Ivar and the band were involved in no less than four performances), and the new album “In Times” and its accompanying tours has set a new precedence for what progressive Extreme Metal can be. True Norwegian Innovation, in short.
2016 was the band’s 25th anniversary – which the band celebrated with tours, festivals and special 2- and 3-night shows (where sets were based on divisions of songs by timeline). It was also the year when debut “Vikingligr Veldi” and collection of rare material “The Sleeping Gods” was released through By Norse Music (co-owned by Ivar Bjørnson). At the end of the year, longtime keyboard Herbrand retired as a performing musician. The train that is Enslaved does not stop for anything though, and their new album “E” will be released in 2017.
Over the last decade Insomnium has slowly but surely made itself a household name among the melodic deathsters. Formed in 1997 in a somnolent town of Joensuu, in eastern Finland, these stern men have ever since redefined the boundaries of the genre. Two highly acclaimed demos already set the standard and in 2001 the band signed to UK label Candlelight Records.
At this point the founding members M...arkus Hirvonen (drums), Ville Friman (guitars) and Niilo Sevänen (vocals and bass) attached guitarist Ville Vänni to the band. The triumphant line-up had been born. Debut album In the Halls of Awaiting (2002) introduced a young and fierce band that combined aggression and violent riffing to melancholic atmosphere. Marriage of Scandinavian death metal and traditional Finnish tunes, catchy but progressive, melodic but brutal – these have been the Insomnium trademarks ever since. Debut was praised all over the metal world but the band still remained the Finland’s best kept secret.
With Since the Day It All Came Down (2004) the band moved further from the beaten paths of the genre. Album was darker, more challenging and the songs took meandering pathways: a rewarding journey for those who dare to take it. Exaltations followed, the prestige grew. In 2005 Insomnium made its first real tour outside Finland as they hit the shores of UK. The road had been long, narrow and rocky, but now things started to roll.
Third album Above the Weeping World (2006) was the breakthrough. Compositions and arrangements had reached a new pinnacle and the overall sound was heavier and richer. Album was tighter, meaner and more menacing than ever. Long-time friend Aleksi Munter did the epic keyboard parts which added a whole new layer to the songs. Album took the 9th spot on the Finnish album charts, Mortal Share video blared in MTV and Insomnium made long tours in Europe and North America with bands like Amorphis, Katatonia, Enslaved and Satyricon.
New album Across the Dark (2009) shows a band that knows its strenghts but isn’t afraid to evolve. Crux of the music is still melodic death metal but nuances are giving it a unique flavor. Keyboards are overwhelmingly epic and there are some stunning clean vocals by Jules Näveri. Bit of folk metal, pinch of doom, some thrashing, a whole lot of timeless melodies and progressive twists and there you have it: ingredients of the masterpiece.