Earlier this year, Kvelertak released Splid, their first album for Rise Records and first with new vocalist Ivar Nioklaisen (who's also in The Good the Bad and the Zugly, who also have a new album out this year), following the departure of original vocalist Erlend Hjelvik. It's now been revealed that Hjelvik has launched a new solo band, simply called Hjelvik, whose debut album Welcome to Hel will come out this year via Nuclear Blast (pre-orders coming soon). Album artwork below.
Erlend said in a press release, "Signing with Nuclear Blast is a dream come true for me. Since I was a teenager, I've been a fan of classic NB bands like, Immortal, Dimmu Borgir, In Flames and so on --- so, that makes me feel extra proud to call Nuclear Blast my new label home. I'm certain Nuclear Blast will do an awesome job bringing Hjelvik metal to the masses on my new album, Welcome to Hel, and many more to come."
Jens Prueter, head of A&R at Nuclear Blast Europe, adds, "It's been 10 years ago when I first saw Erlend with Kvelertak in my hometown Dortmund in Germany. Their debut album was just out for a couple of months and on heavy rotation on my turntable. I was blown away by the raw energy of his stage performance and ten years later it is an honor to start working with him on Hjelvik. He has not lost the high energy and is bringing his unique mix of black metal, hardrock and punk to a new level. Welcome to Nuclear Blast and onward to Hel!"
Hjelvik's lineup also includes Rob Steinway (lead guitar), Remi André Nygård (rhythm guitar), Alexis Lieu (bass), and Kevin Foley (drums).
When Erlend left Kvelertak, he wrote, "It's necessary for me to part ways with Kvelertak," and also added, "I'm very proud and grateful for everything we've accomplished as Kvelertak. I am genuinely thankful for everything we've experienced together and wish the band the best of luck and success in the future."
Watch Hjelvik's announcement video and a full-set video of Kvelertak at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn in 2014 with Erlend on vocals below...