Enslaved have unveiled the lead single off of their upcoming album Utgard, alongside an accompanying music video. Prior to the release of “Homebound,” Enslaved announced their plans to release Utgard for the fall. “Homebound” will also be available for physical copy as a 7” on June 26, with “Knights Of The Thunder” being the single’s B-side.
“Homebound” begins with ringing guitar notes, one acting as the bass while another brings a higher, softer melody singing in the background. It quickly devolves into a deep metal sound with thrashing guitars as Grutle Kjellson’s throated voice gives rumbling vocals. The song bounces between softer melodies and metal anarchy.
In the video, Enslaved rehearse amid imagery of thunderstorms, vast ocean waves, crows flying inside of someone’s blank eyes and robed figures standing in a forest as the only flashes of color come from lightning bouncing off heavy clouds. A single glowing dove briefly appears, engulfed in a bioluminescent glow.
“‘Homebound’ is about the greatest reward of exploring and traveling into unknown territory – to ‘go viking’ if you will, turning Homebound at the end of the journey,” the band said in a statement. “It is a song that takes Enslaved on a musical journey that is as much an homage to those who dared so we could play our very own style of music: from nurturing blackened roots to nodding at zeppelins in the sky, beholding teutonic thrash titans and watching speeding motorspychos take off into the futures.”
Enslaved’s upcoming album Utgard is inspired by Nordic mythology and the gods of Asgard. “Homebound” is the first single from the album, after the band had promised it would arrive on May 22.
“The album is a journey into and through ‘Utgard.’ It is a place of unification of that which is above and that which lies below,” the band said in a statement. “It is not about avoiding fear of the pich-black darkness (it will keep on growing until the next confrontation), but to go into the darkness itself. This is the rebirth of the individual. In a world that has become so obsessed with the false lights of greed, jealousy and egotism this is a necessary journey.”
The band’s last album, E, had dropped in 2017. Enslaved formed nearly 30 years ago, much of their music inspired by Nordic mythology. They have currently put a pause on touring due to the coronavirus outbreak, and had delayed the release of Utgard. Last November saw the band resigning with record label Nuclear Blast.
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat