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Enslaved unveil Utgard artwork as they confirm online festival show

Enslaved
Enslaved (Image credit: Roy Bjørge)

Enslaved have today unveiled the cover art for their new studio album Utgard.

The band entered the studio to begin work on the follow-up to 2017’s E in December last year and had hoped to release the record in May. However, with all that’s been happening around the world, the band and their label Nuclear Blast have agreed to push its launch back until the autumn.

Enslaved explain: “Due to the current situation, we took the decision together with our label Nuclear Blast to postpone the release of Utgard to the fall. Therefore, as you can imagine, the whole schedule had to be adjusted quickly! 

“We understand that seeing a video teaser followed by nothing has been confusing. As of today, we can announce that our first single and video will be released on May 22, and we can’t wait to share this new music with you all! We are sure you understand that this is for the best.

“In the meantime, we’d like to tell you a little more about the Utgard cover artwork. This is the ninth consecutive album cover done by Truls Espedal – and like the album itself, it is definitely on the wavelength of the long-distance pulse from the Enslaved generator. 

We can’t wait to share this new music with you all! We are sure you understand that this is for the best

Enslaved

“It is a piece of art that mirrors a massive concept and a band that is also more lyrically and philosophically inspired than ever before. That Truls is a master of his art is established a long time ago, but he has truly outdone himself on this interpretation of our Utgard. 

“Just looking at how the colours and techniques are used to create the depth and grandiosity of the horizon. The perfect travelling companion into these uncharted territories.”

While the music world reels due to the coronavirus pandemic, Enslaved have also confirmed that they’ll play a live online set at Bergen's Verftet Online Music Festival on April 1, which will be streamed on Bergens Tidende and YouTube.

Enslaved say: “When the old Bergen ring-fox Mikal Telle asked us to join his and local venue USF's fantastic initiative that is this festival, we pretty much said 'yes and thanks for asking!' before he could finish the sentence. 

“Of course we are itching to play now that the world of live music is on halt, but we also saw a chance to get our live music out there to all the fantastic fans out there.

"The studio recordings is of course a pillar in what Enslaved is, but without the other pillar of playing high-energy shows and creating musical magick together with our magnificent audience, things get out of balance. Now we will have a chance to restore that balance for a virtual time with all of you.”

A full tracklist and pre-order details for Utgard will be revealed in due course.