Interview with Ivar of



CRITICALTOM:  You have now and have had members from black metal bands, but Enslaved has always seemed to be different from other Viking/Black metal bands.  Is this intentional or accidental? How does it work?

IVAR:  It more or less happened.   But we made some conscious decision.  Bands lke Mayhem and Darkthrone established some clear boundaries

Other bands


CRITICALTOM:  How did the band approach the writing of Ruun differently from, say, Isa or Below the Lights?

IVAR:  a bit different because t was the first time in many years where the line-up was as stable as it is now. 


CRITICALTOM:  The new album clearly sounds like and Enslaved album.  But it also sounds different.  I can hear some similarities to Rush and Voivod on the one hand, and Immortal on the other.  Nevertheless, it is identifiably Enslaved.  How do you manage to write different music while maintaining a clear identity?

IVAR:  I think that is the core of it.  We will always have a very clear mixture of the progressive stuff like Voivod.  Then there is a … that is the whole signature.  It is sort of like we have been students learning ourselves … If I hear something new that I am inspired by that is so


CRITICALTOM:  Is Ruun a concept album?  It seems to be about the universe.  What are the songs about?

IVAR:  A dedication to the pre-civilized culture, exploratory courage, and mysticism of ancient times.  The lyrics are the results of the title.  Each song more or less tells the same story.  7 runes


CRITICALTOM:  We know that the mainstream music scene is driven by album sales and trends.  Is this similar to the metal scene you are a part of as you see it?  Or do you think that  

IVAR:  We have absolute freedom in creativity.  That is the situation in extreme metal.  On the other hand we want


CRITICALTOM:  What, in your view, would make Ruun a success?  (sales?  Critical acclaim?)

IVAR:  I think it appeals to people in various ways.  That is sort of my preliminary conclusion from the feedback.  It may depend on who is listening


CRITICALTOM:  Do you feel like Enslaved is in a position to take the lead in Norwegian Viking/Black metal scene?

IVAR:  I think we could become that … or not. 


CRITICALTOM:  Are there any general misconceptions/misunderstandings that people have about Enslaved?

IVAR:  Not really.  I think things have been settled over the years.  I think in the past some have confused us with some role playing guys.


CRITICALTOM:  What is something you wish an interviewer would ask but usually doesn’t?

IVAR:  a lot of it has been covered.  I can’t think of any.  I think it is abou

If we conceive our version of our stuff as scientific with


CRITICALTOM:  Will Enslaved be coming to the States?

IVAR:  There’s a big chance and it is growing day by day. 


CRITICALTOM:  Other than Enslaved, who do you think are some of the top metal bands currently?

IVAR:  words



CRITICALTOM:  Positive ideology

IVAR:  not directly.  I thin we express a certain faith in man—not mankind—but in man.  Pagan




IVAR:  It has become the aesthetics of the band                 we saw ourselves as continuing what Bathory did




IVAR:  a construction from the English word “Entropy”  … Loki, which some scholars link with Lucifer