Saturday, March 21, 2015

Enslaved at the Gramercy Theatre

Grutle Kjellson
Vocalist Grutle Kjellson (also known as Kjetil Grutle) was 17 years old and lead guitarist Ivar Bjørnson was 13 when they formed Enslaved as a black metal band in 1991 in Haugesund, Norway. They are the only remaining original members. After many personnel changes, the line-up solidified in 2004 with guitarist Arve "Ice Dale" Isdal, drummer Cato Bekkevold, and keyboardist/vocalist Herbrand Larsen. Enslaved's 13th and most current album, In Times, was released on March 10, 2015. The band is now based in Bergen, Norway.

At the Gramercy Theatre tonight, Enslaved demonstrated how far the group has graduated musically. Enslaved became perhaps more of a progressive metal band, with lengthy songs incorporating sharp dynamic shifts, both clean and guttural vocals, ambient keyboard sounds, and guitar melodies that ranged from atmospheric to crunching. At times a touch of doom metal and at other times Viking metal influenced the heavy sound, much of it harsh enough to be branded extreme metal. The mix of headbanging and dreamy moments was curious and epic.

Visit Enslaved at www.enslaved.no.