Long standing Kvelertak frontman Erlend Hjelvik has announced his departure from the band. The announcement came just days before the band are due to play a show in Norway on the 20th of July.
Erlend posted his announcement through the official Kvelertak Facebook page yesterday;
“Though it is a heavy decision to leave a life I’ve been living and breathing for the last decade, I feel happy and excited to explore new possibilities for the future.
“Regrettably, due to circumstances out of my control, I am not able to perform the last four shows in Norway this summer. I apologize to the festival organizers and fans planning on these shows.
“I would like to thank Bjarte, Kjetil, Maciek, Marvin and Vidar, our crew, bands we’ve toured with and everyone else who has worked with KVELERTAK. Most importantly, I appreciate our awesome fans that have made everything possible. 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.”
Despite Erlend’s rasp being a recognisable trait of the band, fans should not worry too much about them forging ahead, as the bulk of the songwriting has always been handled by the trio of guitarists, and it would seem the band will be introducing their new frontman this Friday as well as continuing progress on their upcoming 4th full length album.
“We have known for a while that Erlend has planned to step down, so we have had the necessary time to plan the way going forward and also find a new vocalist for KVELERTAK,” the band said in a statement.
“The original plan was to finish up the festival season with Erlend, but as Erlend is not able to do so, we are therefore proudly announcing our newest member at the upcoming show Friday, July 20th, at Fjellparken, Norway.
“We would like to thank Erlend Hjelvik for his contribution to the band, and wish him all the best for the future.”
Personally I am a huge fan of the bands first 3 albums, and words cannot state how much those records have enriched my life, however a fresh burst of life into the band and a new vocal dynamic can only be a positive for a group as cutting edge as Kvelertak. I am hoping they go with someone who employs a different style of voice, rather than someone who will simply try and re-create what Erlend did, but the band have never let the fans down yet and I am highly doubtful they will at this stage.
Onwards and Upwards for KVELERTAK!