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Playlist: Ivar Bjørnson of Enslaved

Motorpsycho — “Starhammer”

“This Norwegian gem is from one of my biggest influences, both in terms of musical versatility and integrity. Motorpsycho have come such a long way through hard work and unrelenting musical exploration. They’re the opposite of all those ‘dangerous’ or ‘sexy’ heroes who forget to work on their musical skills.”

Mayhem — “Pagan Fears”

“Is De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas still the very paradigm of black metal songwriting and guitar playing? The riffing on ‘Pagan Fears’ is ridiculously groovy and darkly lush. Check out the little intermezzo before the first verse to see how massive one guitar voicing played in three positions can sound.”

Yes — “The Gates of Delirium”

“Steve Howe’s haunting leads—full of yearning, delay and reverb—are mesmerizing. The interplay between him and bass player Chris Squire is also something I’ve been trying to wrap my head around. It shows how many more voicing options you have when you think outside the box.”

Kyuss — “One Inch Man”

“Talk about groove, man! The muddy guitar sound and the minimalistic riff that keeps subtly expanding and working together with the backing vocals throughout the verses are sublime. There are a million bands with simple songs and muddy guitar sounds, but only Kyuss made …And the Circus Leaves Town!”

Alcest — “Le Secret (2011)”

“I really got my eyes opened to these guys when we toured with them. This song kept mesmerizing me night after night. It takes me back…and it also takes me forward, inward and outward. Truly esoteric metal. Alcest is a lonely and beautiful flower in the metal world.”