Enslaved is a Norwegian extreme metal band formed in Haugesund in June 1991. They are currently based in Bergen, Norway.
Enslaved was formed in July 1991 by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson (also known as Kjetil Grutle) when they were 13 and 17 years old, respectively. The band name was inspired by an Immortal demo track, "Enslaved in Rot." After many line-up changes throughout their career, Bjørnson and Kjellson are the only remaining original members. By 2004 the line-up solidified with guitarist Arve "Ice Dale" Isdal, drummer Cato Bekkevold, and keyboardist/vocalist Herbrand Larsen.
Prior to forming Enslaved, Bjørnson and Kjellson had been playing in a death metal band called Phobia, but like many in the burgeoning extreme metal movement, they were looking for new sources of inspiration and expression. Though Enslaved began as a prototypical Norwegian black metal band in 1991, by 1993 they were incorporating song structures unusual for the genre; several of their earlier songs reach the ten-minute mark (their debut album, Vikingligr Veldi, has only one song that is under ten minutes). As such, the band has rejected the black metal label and prefers the term "extreme metal." Mardraum (2000) contained several multi-part epics such as "Større enn tid - Tyngre enn natt" and "Entrance - Escape." Several of the band's tracks (most prominently, "As Fire Swept Clean the Earth" from Below the Lights) have used mellotron. Mardraum, Monumension (2001), and Below the Lights (2003) can be regarded as having somewhat similar styles. Isa (2004) and Ruun (2006) show a marked departure from previous sounds, most notably with the inclusion of sharp dynamic shifts.