One year ago, Norway’s trailblazing cosmic voyagers, Enslaved, released their latest avant-garde creation titled “Heimdal”. To commemorate the studio album’s first year of existence, the band recently announced the “Heimdal (Deluxe)” digital album, set to be released on March 1st, 2024 via Nuclear Blast Records.
“Heimdal (Deluxe)” will include the studio album in full, as well as bonus track ‘Gangandi’, alternative versions of two album tracks ‘Congelia’ and ‘Forest Dweller’, both featuring sublime performances from renowned cellist Jo Quail, plus the entirety of ‘The Otherworldly Big Band Experience’, Enslaved‘s stunning 2022 streaming event featuring fellow psychedelic Norwegian prog band Shaman Elephant.
Today, Enslaved have released the alternative version of their track ‘Forest Dweller’, featuring internationally acclaimed composer and virtuoso cellist Jo Quail, alongside a beautiful visualizer video created by Costin Chioreanu. Watch it below.
Guitarist Ivar Bjørnson commented: “It is an absolute honor to have Jo Quail on these special versions of ‘Forest Dweller’ and ‘Congelia’. We are all big fans of her unique work and style; I have personally had the pleasure of working with her for some time through By Norse Music (the label co-founded with Einar Selvik and our manager Simon Füllemann). When we had the chance to invite guest artists for the release show in Bergen of ‘Heimdal’ back in March 2023, Jo Quail was a given. She blew our (and the audience’s) collective minds with her powerful interpretation and performance on ‘Forest Dweller’ and ‘Congelia’ – to the degree that it simply could not be the end of the story. She has a take on her art that is one of a kind – impossible to categorize, haunting, emotive, and atmospheric; we feel that this version of us joining forces underlines the artistic and musical kinship we feel being present between our two camps. So here we are; for the world to hear! Be sure to check out Jo’s releases while you are at it!!!”
Jo Quail added: “I’ve long been a fan of Enslaved, and I have huge admiration for the way their masterful compositions broaden and deepen with each release. When the band invited me to collaborate I had to re-read the email several times! I was honored and humbled by this invitation from a band so greatly revered by so many of us all over the world, and I was tremendously excited by the chance to explore our sonic worlds together. Enslaved are the same people on and off stage, which is not always a given, and it’s something that, in my opinion, translates in their music and performance – the connection with their audience in concert draws us in deeply and it’s nothing short of inspiring. It was an absolute honor to be invited by Enslaved to perform ‘Forest Dweller’ and ‘Congelia’ with them in March 2023. I approached these two quite diverse tracks with immense respect, as both were already fully developed and everything sat perfectly and exactly where it needed to be, so any contribution from me needed to underpin or enhance the existing story arc rather than divert from it. Enslaved are musically very generous; they were wholly supportive of my suggestions for cello parts, and the result was a collaboration that I shall treasure for all time. I’m thrilled that this now has a life beyond that one very special concert, and I hope you enjoy the result!”
“Heimdal” is both a departure and a communion with roots forged over three decades ago in the turbulent birth throes of Norway’s black metal scene. It’s a record that points towards new beginnings, and a dawn that’s on the other side of the apex of the land. A psychedelic journey through arcane Norse folklore, connecting with one’s ancient ancestors and our future selves.
‘The Otherworldly Big Band Experience’ was an Enslaved show like none other, their biggest, boldest project to date – a colossal, kaleidoscopic stage show featuring a stellar setlist covering their career, both past and present. Including some tracks never previously performed live.
“Heimdal (Deluxe)” is available to pre-order AT THIS LOCATION.