Enslaved’s Ivar Bjørnson: “Sometimes a bit of chaos is what you need to get things moving when they’re going stale”

Ivar Bjørnson
(Image credit: Per Ole Hagen/Redferns)

The primeval landscapes of Norse mythology and Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s Shadow theory heavily influenced the direction of Norwegian extreme metal outfit Enslaved’s Utgard, an album ultimately about diving into the unknown. 

While staring into the abyss could have cast a gloomy pall on the band’s 15th full-length, songwriter and founding guitarist Ivar Bjørnson instead brought an ambitious assortment of riffs back to our realm. 

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Gregory Adams

Gregory Adams is a Vancouver-based arts reporter. From metal legends to emerging pop icons to the best of the basement circuit, he’s interviewed musicians across countless genres for nearly two decades, most recently with Guitar World, Bass Player, Revolver, and more – as well as through his independent newsletter, Gut Feeling. This all still blows his mind. He’s a guitar player, generally bouncing hardcore riffs off his ’52 Tele reissue and a dinged-up SG.