Tough, uncompromising characters with superb (and eclectic) taste in music obviously make up this year's Spellemann metal jury. The news that three out of four nominations in the metal category — ENSLAVED for "Ruun", KEEP OF KALESSIN for "Armada" and BENEA REACH for "Monument Bineothan" — have sent shock waves across the Tabu Recordings offices. The three nominated artists are pleasantly surprised.
"We are amazed to receive our fourth nomination for the Norwegian Grammy Awards," commented ENSLAVED's Ivar Peersen last night. "Really. We certainly feel that 'Ruun' is an album that deserves attention, so this is basically just great. Whether 'Ruun' will run off with the harp like 'ISA' did two years ago is uncertain, we are certainly humble towards the tough competition in our category. Unfortunately or fortunately — depending on the angle; we will be away touring the U.S. during the actual prize ceremony. Someone's got to work while others play. Thanks to the nominators and our followers for believing in the band!"
The man behind the technical black metal ferocity of Trondheim's KEEP OF KALESSIN's "Armada", Arnt "Obsidian C" Grønbech commented, "We're happy to be nominated especially in a year where Norwegian metal has really gone over the top in terms of amazing releases."
The only band representing the more contemporary side of metal these days, metalcore BENEA REACH (featuring ex-members of SELFMINDEAD and EXTOL) was unavailable for comment until this morning. "We're surprised yet very excited to be nominated," drummer Marco Storm enthused. "It's a great acknowledgement for our debut to be one of the four albums that the jury deemed good enough to be chosen for this. We're the only Oslo band to be up there as well. It's incredible since we were up against such great artists."
The Spellemann award ceremony will take place on Saturday, January 27 January at the Thalia Theatre at Chateau Neuf in Oslo. All bands will be attending but ENSLAVED who are shortly about to embark on a U.S. tour. The co-headline five-week live treck marks 11 years since the first time ENSLAVED first set foot on American soil. They were also the first Norwegian extreme metal act to tour that territory. The U.S. tour will last from January 9 to February 5 and such is the great demand for the band in the U.S. that they have been booked to play great venues in the vein of the reknown B.B. Kings in New York and have already been reserved to do 15 in-store signing sessions in a row in different cities. The ENSLAVED 15-year jubilee concept that wraps up the last 12 months in the life of the band will be rounded up by an appearance at the Bjørnegildet festival in Oslo on February 15 and live performances at two Indian festivals at the end of February. The latter marks the first time ENSLAVED have performed in the Asian continent.