May 312011

I think Norway’s Enslaved are so talented that they can do anything they set their minds to, and do it superbly. As further proof, I have some videos for you, which, as the kids say, are fuckin’ siiiiiiiick.

Just the day after that Dimmu Borgir show that Andy Synn attended in Oslo on May 28, Enslaved played a special show in the same city at the Henie Onstad Art Centre, which appears to house Norway’s largest collection of international modern art.

In honor of Enslaved’s 20th anniversary, the Art Centre asked Enslaved to prepare a special setlist consisting of a mix of cover songs from their favorite bands as well as original songs. Among the artists Enslaved covered were Pink Floyd, Rush, Faith No More, Led Zeppelin, and King Crimson.

Thank goodness someone filmed this. So far, I’ve seen videos for the band’s performances of “The Immigrant Song” — one of my all-time favorite Zeppelin tunes — and “Red” by King Crimson, plus a drumcam view of the band’s own original song “Lightening”, from Axioma Ethica Odini. The video quality is excellent and the audio quality is pretty good — good enough to blow me away.  (more after the jump, including the videos . . .)

It won’t surprise you to learn that Enslaved didn’t just provide rote repetitions of the songs they covered. What makes their performances of “Immigrant Song” and “Red” so amazing are the variations they worked into the original works (which include some beautiful guitar leads and solos). I dearly hope someone made a pro-quality audio recording of this set, because I would kill for quality digital tracks of this stuff.

OK, maybe not actually kill.  But maim.  I would maim for that.

The drumcam footage provides a drum-heavy sound for “Lightening”, but that really isn’t a bad thing in this instance, because Cato Bækkevold is beastlike in his performance.

Okay, enough words.  Watch.  Please.


  1. How the FUCK did I not know about this? I could easily have stayed another night to see this and still made it home in time for Vreid. Bastards.

    • I wonder if maybe it was some kind of invitation-only charity event for the Museum. (Probably not; I’m just trying to make you feel better. Would that not have been one hellaciously awesome weekend?)

      • That would have made 4 black metal gigs in 4 days by 4 of my favourite black metal artists.

        Now the whole weekend has been ruined. Ha.

  2. I should mention that this appears to be “Immigrant Song”-cover week. Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) and Karen O (Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs) recorded a pretty nice cover of the song which is playing over a leaked trailer for the Hollywood re-make of “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” — here:

    Why anyone thinks that the original Swedish version of this movie could be improved upon is a mystery to me.

    • so there is a cover playing as music for a movie that’s a cover? how apt.

      Regarding the movie, I quite liked the originals so I doubt the new versions will be better, the clip (while it was still up) did give some hope to it being at least dark and bleak, but I think it will be watered down, especially the nudity and sexual violence. I guess the irony of watering down the sexual violence in a movie dealing with sexual violence will escape most 🙂

      • How did I not think of the line about the cover song for the cover movie? I am not as clever as I sometimes think I am.

        I will be surprised if the Hollywood version is as stripped down and covered in honest grit as the original, which is why I can’t believe it will be anything other than a cringe-producing reminder of the original. I know that as I watch it (and yeah, I’ll probably watch it), I’ll be irresistibly comparing every scene, every performance, to the original, which comes as close to capturing a wonderful book as any movie I can remember. The story is so dark in so many ways, and it’s so necessary to be graphic at key points to fully convey the story, that, like you, I’ll be surprised if a big-budget Hollywood adaptation will pull it off. But the main point remains: why even bother?

        • Some Hollywood covers work though. Not necessarily as “better” versions, but definitely great alternatives.

          I’m thinking “The Ring”, “Let Me In” (although the change in title totally fucks up the intent of the original’s title). Maybe some others.

  3. Well, fuck me running. I just saw this post by Enslaved on their Facebook page: “We filmed and recorded the show on Sunday. Perhaps we should use it for something at some point…?” Allow me to say, FUCK YES YOU SHOULD USE IT FOR SOMETHING!

  4. You’ve got kids?!

  5. dude i would give anything to have a studio recording of those songs , especially King Crimson’s Red.
    thanks you so very fucking much for sharing this bro, you made my day.Enslaved rules

    • So glad to be of service! This made my day, too, especially after I saw the note from Enslaved that this was professionally filmed. I’m smelling a CD/DVD combo release by fall . . . .

  6. Must to be knowing which Rush and FNM songs they covered. Will sacrifice one newborn marmoset an hour until information is given!

    • Marmoset genocide! I just spent 20 minutes trying to find someplace, anyplace, on the web that would have more info about what other songs they played and have found nothing. I am frustrated. And I’m not even terribly partial to marmosets.

      • BLARG! It’s ok thanks for the effort. NO idea what they’d do with Rush unless it’s instrumental. As far as the Faith goes I’d love to see what they’d do with something slower, maybe “King for a Day…”, but considering this was live they most likely went for something they could crush on.

        Oh, and little Mr. Bojangles gives his regards…

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