Enslaved was formed in 1991, by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson. Joined by drummer Trym Torsson, they did their first demo in the summer of 1992. While working with the first full length, there came a call from England, resulting in the two 1993 legendary mini albums; Enslaved-“Hordanes Land” and Emperor-“s/t”. Due to tragic circumstances, Enslaved’s debut album “Vikingligr Veldi” was held back until the spring of 1994. Enslaved moved their label base to French Osmose Productions, and “Frost” were released late in the 1994. Enslaved were now known outside the Black/ Extreme circles of Northern Europe. This led to the “Winter War Europe Tour ‘95”, and the first Norwegian Black/ Extreme tour ever in the US, Canada and Mexico during ’95. The tours were a great success; but Trym Torson moved on to join Emperor as a drummer shortly.
“Eld” was recorded with drummer Harald Helgeson in 1996, and released the year after. However, working with Harald was no permanent solution, so Dirge Rep (then Gehenna) and R. Kronheim were hired, becoming integral parts during the recording of “Blodhemn” (’98).
Enslaved released an important milestone in 2000 with “Mardraum (Beyond the Within)”, which marked a turning point for the band; and sent shock waves through the Extrem Metal scene with a revolutionary experimental and innovative approach to their genre. The band kept pouring on coal, and released “Monumension” in 2001, and again the band were shocked to see the positive response to their “no rules” approach to Extreme Metal. Gigs were still being played in Norway, Europe and the States, in front of a faithful and ever increasing audience.
After returning from the UK in March 2002, R. Kronheim had to leave. The band kept on working with new material, in which they now saw a synthesis between the original thesis (the “Blacker” Enslaved) and the anti-thesis forming from “Mardraum” onwards (the experimental, progressive and gloomier Enslaved) – “Below the Lights” were recorded in 2002 and released the year after, and presented the perfect blend of power, tradition, progressive elements and dark psychedelia. The process and hard work had taken its toll on drummer Dirge, and he left the band.
A new line-up were put together during and after the recording of “Below the Lights”, including old-timer Cato Bekkevold (Red Harvest founder), Arve Isdal and Herbrand Larsen. With all the changes left behind, Enslaved reached new heights with their live performance, also adding strong visual elements in the shape of video art and more. English market leader Kerrang! rewarded their Inferno 2004 performance with a full house: 5 K!’s.
The new line-up recorded “ISA” during the autumn of 2004, and was released in Oct/Nov ’04 (Feb ’05 in the US). The album received raving reviews in all territories (except Finland obviously), and put Enslaved at the very forefront of contemporary Extreme Metal. A European Tour with fellow Norsemen Vreid took place in February and March 2005. The tour was rewarded with both great reviews and great turnouts. In absentia, during the tour, Enslaved also received both the Norwegian Grammy and the independent Alarm Price for “ISA”. The band will appear at various festivals throughout 2005, and an trans-American tour is in the making for the end of 2005.