Norwegian progressive/psychedelic extreme metal trailblazers ENSLAVED played a special show on May 29 at the Henie Onstad Art Centre in Oslo.
Henie Onstad Art Centre has Norway's largest collection of international modern art, including works by Picasso and Matisse. The museum also shows changing exhibitions throughout the year.
Henie Onstad is situated in beautiful surroundings by the Oslo Fjord, just 15 minutes west of the city centre.
It is no secret that the members of ENSLAVED have been inspired by music outside their own branch of the metal genre. The Henie Onstad Art Centre therefore asked the band to prepare a special setlist consisting of a mix of cover songs from their favorite bands as well as original songs that they feel relate to their heroes. Among the artists ENSLAVED covered were PINK FLOYD, RUSH, FAITH NO MORE, LED ZEPPELIN and KING CRIMSON.
"ENSLAVED is one of the biggest metal bands and it has proven to be willing to experiment and try new things throughout its long career, thus helping push the genre forward," said musical director Lasse Marhaug of Henie Onstad Art Centre. "Since the band is now celebrating its 20th anniversary, we thought it was a good opportunity to invite them to play a special concert."
Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be viewed below.
ENSLAVED has just released "The Sleeping Gods" via Scion A/V as a free downloadable five-song EP. Following up on last year's near-universally praised "Axioma Ethica Odini", the EP finds the quintet once again expanding the boundaries of what metal can be, deftly incorporating influences from across the musical spectrum. Mainly recorded in Solslottet Studio in Bergen, and partly in the band's own home studio, the effort finds the group sounding leaner and more confident than ever, part and parcel of maintaining a presence at the foreground of the international metal movement for 20 years.
Throughout its 30-minute playing time, the EP sways and punches in equal measure, in no small part due to the dexterous and powerful rhythm section of vocalist/bassist Grutle Kjellson and drummer Cato Bkkevold. Herbrand Larsen's swirling keyboard textures form an ether around Ice Dale and Ivar Bjrnson's guitars, which ooze tasteful sophistication and melodic sensibility in equal measure with their crushing, impenetrable force.
ENSLAVED was honored in the "Metal" category at the 39th annual Spellemann awards (the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammy Awards). The largest and oldest Norwegian music awards show was held on March 5 at the Spektrum in Oslo, Norway and was broadcast live on the Norwegian channel TV2.
This marks the fourth consecutive time that ENSLAVED won the Spellemann award in the "Metal" category.