Enslaved backstory

Formed in 1991 by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson, Enslaved released their first demo, Yggdrasill, in 1992.

Emerging around the same time as the likes of Immortal and Emperor, the Norwegians helped to establish black metal as a global force.

And they have been spreading their wings ever since, with 2000’s Mardraum – Beyond The Within, marking the start of their journey into proggier territory.

2020’s Utgard – the quintet’s 15th studio album – was yet another creative high point in Enslaved’s illustrious career, and they followed it up with last year’s intriguing EP, Caravans to the Outer Worlds.

In Enslaved’s own words…

Kingdom – a tribute to the endurance of ideas and the people that carry them forward through hardship and fatigue, for the benefit of us all,” says guitarist Ivar Bjørnson. 

“Musically, it is a tribute to the riff and the rite: to the Teutonic thrash kings, to space rock, to the ambient pioneers of the 70s. 

“With this we ask you to join us on this coming trek.”

The verdict on Kingdom

Despite Bjørnson’s comments, we can’t hear much of Pleasure To Kill, Mad Butcher or Nuclear Winter in the realms of Kingdom (though admittedly, some thrashier riffery does take the song to is conclusion).

However, if you want evidence of Enslaved’s total mastery of the blackened proggyverse, then this is it.

Kingdom’s fast-paced, hypnotic pulse is utterly enthralling, and keyboardist Håkon Vinje proves once again why his ‘clean’ singing style is the perfect fit for the band.

Like the video that accompanies it, this track is a cinematic experience, shrouded in mystery.

But did we really expect anything else from Enslaved?

What’s next for Enslaved?

The band have been busy with the festival circuit this summer… but there’s been no news of a full-length successor to Utgard.

However, given how productive the boys are, we wouldn’t be surprised if there is something in the works.