Enslaved releases The Sleeping Gods - Thorn; a full-length album comprised of rare material from 2010/2011. For the first time this unique collection of experimental material, also connecting with their early roots, is available as an album. The Sleeping Gods – Thorn will mark the conclusion of Enslaved's 25th anniversary year. Costin Chioreanu of Twilight 13 Media (Roadburn Festival, Opeth, Darkthrone, At The Gates,) did the beautiful new layout, including mesmerizing new illustrations, displaying a unique symbiosis between two of our times' most exciting visual and sonic artists.
The songs originally appeared on extremely limited EPs between the full-length albums Axioma Ethica Odini and Riitiir, and was recorded both in Solslottet Studio in Bergen, as well as the band member's own studios and partly in the deep woods of Valevaag on the south-west coast of Norway. Like the songs themselves, the production is a mix of old and new; high tech and no-tech – a mix of concepts that has been essential in achieving the signature sound Enslaved is famous for today. Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson from Enslaved co-produced the material together with long-time collaborator Iver Sandøy.
The album has lyrics sung in both Norwegian, English and Old Norse, and the theme centers on mythology and the esoteric side of the runes; as well as contrasting the Norse Ways as a polytheistic belief system to the monotheistic plague of the Big World Religions. The music nods respectfully to the wildly varying deities that make up the pantheon of inspiration for Enslaved, both "then" and "now." There are traces of both proto-black metal of Bathory, the classic Rock and Heavy Metal of the 70s and 80s, the synthisized and sequenced masters of the 70s, prog-rock, world/Norse folk music, Norwegian Black Metal of the 90s, modern classical music, goth rock a la Fields of the Nephilim and much more.