The new Enslaved track, “Veilburner,” is available for streaming through tomorrow on the Metal Hammer Germany website.
Enslaved rhythm guitarist Ivar Bjørnson and bassist/vocalist Grutle Kjellson have been offering song commentaries on their trademarked Norwegian strain of progressive extreme metal. The following third of eight installments provides insight on “Veilburner,” which appears on Enslaved’s twelfth studio album, “RIITIIR” (reviewed here), due out in Europe on September 28th and in North America on October 9th.
Bjørnson comments on the track:
“This was the second song written for the album, and man (!), did it turn out great! It was probably the song that ‘kicked in’ first and strongest during our rehearsing for the album. I think the song is perfect for Cato’s drum style; every time I listen to it I discover something new and magnificent! A fond memory from the recording sessions is when one of the studio owners, Jørgen Træen (Norwegian top producer), stopped by and heard the song. He said it represented everything he cherished in Metal (like everybody else, he was a metalhead earlier on – at some point in history, everybody must have been into Metal if they’re all telling the truth). He found it catchy, grandiose without overdone pomposity, with ear-candy drumming and solid songwriting.
“Moving on to the lyrics; again we’re at the cliché ‘it is what it is.’ There’s a veil to burn, so gather your strength, focus, and perform the rite! Whether it be behavioral adjustments, mental synthesis, or simply putting on this particular track obscenely loud, doesn’t matter: If you have the fire and a will to burn, it is going to work! Just be aware that what lies beyond the veil might not be pretty. The better you know yourself, the better are the chances of avoiding surprises when you see behind the veil.”
Kjellson also comments: “This song was something as strange in the Enslaved-world as love at first hearing; I instantly knew what to do with this one. Me and Herbrand [Larsen, keyboard & clean vocalist] totally agreed on the arrangements and this was an easy one. Yes, they DO come around from time to time. I was particularly satisfied ‘cause my love for Rush had finally struck Ivar, too! At least I like to think so, ‘cause I find a lot of traces of Rush in many of the riffs on this song. I might be deadly wrong of course, but that doesn´t matter. Co-producer Iver Sandøy, being a drummer himself, opened up a couple of doors for Cato on this song I think, and I just love the drumming on this one! Definitely one of young Bekkevold’s finest moments in the Enslaved collective.
“‘Veilburner’ might also be one of the coolest titles we ever had for a song! It really symbolizes a desperate urge to find the truths, no matter how uncomfortable they might seem to be. I feel that this lyric is somehow the closest to my own lyrics Ivar has ever written. We have, after all, been playing together since 1990, and we tend to view the world the same way. On the ‘chorus’ (if it’s possible to call an ENSLAVED theme that?), we decided to try out Mr. Sandøy’s old RFT CM 7151 condenser microphone (also called ‘The Leipzig bottle’ – made in DDR in the ‘60s), on the growling vocals and man, it sounds so monstrous – without adding any effects to it at all!!! Just pure old tube overdrive! One can only imagine what purposes this particular microphone has been used for. Eric Honecker speeches? Annual Stasi ‘Let´s infiltrate some Western European governments’ meetings? Pretty harsh stuff…”
The album’s track listing is:
1. Thoughts Like Hammers
2. Death In The Eyes Of Dawn
4. Roots Of The Mountain
7. Storm Of Memories