21th of June I had the chance to met a couple of great bands at the Maximum Festival Tour '999 in Hungary. The list of the bands was SIX FEET UNDER, VADER, ENSLAVED, CRYPTOPSY, NILE and THYRFING. The show went extremely well. Grutlje Kjellson (vocals/bass) of ENSLAVED was enough cordial and narrated me the latest news and happenings around the band. Read this and be sure to check their "Blodhemn" album before it's too late.

ENSLAVED - Band Photo
Your new album called "Blodhemn" is slightly differs from the others. What was the reason for it?
- Actually I think all our albums differ from each other, because we're kind of develop our music all the time. That is natural. You know it's no point making 10 equal albums, is it? Another reason might be the influences our new members Kronheim and Dirge Rep brought to the band.
What was the reason for Harald Helgenson to leave the band?
- He was kicked out mainly because of his alcoholic problems. He just drank far to much and were not able to rehearse or even to show up on our rehearsals.
You consider yourself as Viking Metal but many 'zines call you as "Black metal" band. What do you think about it?
- People will always do what they will. Still, I think it is totally wrong to call us Black Metal, because Black Metal is satanic music and we're not satanic! Anyway Viking Metal is not a music category, it's just a name we put on our music years ago. So ENSLAVED=Viking Metal and vice versa.
The lyrics of your whole albums are dealing with vikings and ancient Scandinavian mythology. What is it for you? Is it only tribute to the past of your nativeland or you consider yourselves as pagans?
- You know pagan is just a name the christians put on all the believers of ancient religions in the lands they conquered. So we are definitely not pagans! We are believers of the ancient religion called Åsatru. Hail Odin!
ENSLAVED - Band Photo
Describe us the situation in norwegian underground nowadays.
- I am afraid I've got no idea what's going on!!! I'm just into ENSLAVED and the other older bands like GORGOROTH, GEHENNA, MYSTICUM, DARKTHRONE etc. etc.
There's a lot of viking bands in Norway (EINHERJER, STORM, etc.). What do you think about that? It seems to me that it can turn to the new trend.
- Those bands are really not my faves, I do like the persons behind them, but I definitely don't like their music. You know, it's just a matter of taste! The guys are cool but, yeah, you know...
What can you say about the bands from the countries that have nothing with vikings (Poland, France, Finland etc.) that call themselves "Viking Metal"?
- I think it's wrong of them to copy or to take part in our heritage! They have their own heritage and ancestors and their history is just as proud or even prouder than ours! One of our main goals with ENSLAVED is to get people just as much into their heritage as we are in ours. Just think about the history of Poland, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy and of course the Celtic history! Come on! Wake up! Most of the people in Europe have a great history and mythology! Study it!!! Find your roots! Find the path of your Forefathers!!!
What can you tell about the future for ENSLAVED. What about the new album. Will you release it in 1999?
- Our next album will be recorded during Jan/Feb 2000. It will of course be different to Blodhemn and it will the best ENSLAVED album so far. It will probable be released in the spring/summer of 2000.
The lyrics of your all albums are in norwegian and ancient icelandic (vikingligr veldi) language. What is the reason for it?
- The reason is mainly that we express our feelings/emotions much better in our mother tongue.
Tell us some words to the end.
- If we have any fans I would like to hail them! Keep on supporting us. Support the Army of the Northstar!!! Also try to dig into your own proud history! You will enjoy it, just as much as we do! Believe me. Keep up the spirit! Hail the Ancient Ones!!!

All contents copyright © 1998-2019 Encomium