Enslaved have announced that they’ll unleash a new album, Utgard, this year. Although an initial release date hadn’t been unveiled yet, the band has delayed the release until the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Utgard is the follow-up to 2017’s E, as the long-running Norwegian metal act continues its trend of releasing a new album every couple years. The band promises that a music video for Utgard’s lead single will arrives May 22nd. Previously, Enslaved teased a brief video trailer for the album.
The band issued an official statement in a press release for the album announcement:
“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 22nd, 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 artwork done by Truls Espedal – and like the album itself it is definitely on the wavelength of the long-distance pulse from the Enslaved generator. 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 colors and techniques are used to create the depth and grandiosity of the horizon. The perfect traveling companion into these uncharted territories.”
With live music effectively paused across the globe due to the pandemic, Enslaved is set to headline the Verftet “online music festival” at USF in Bergen, Norway, on April 1st. The band’s performance will be live streamed and could include as-yet-unheard music from Utgard.
“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,” the band remarked in the press release. “Of course we are itching in our fingers 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 band adds, “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 — and time is time no matter what matter it moves through, right? See you in the ether!”
The festival will stream via the Bergens Tidende website and via YouTube. Check out the artwork for Utgard below.