Norway's Kvelertak made serious waves when they burst on the scene in 2011, winning over famous fans in James Hetfield and Dave Grohl with their excellent, party-ready eponymous album, its equally fantastic follow-up Meir and the more experimental Nattesferd. After these releases, they seemingly went quiet for a couple years before announcing in 2018 that they'd split with owl-loving, shirt-hating frontman Erlend Hjelvik, who told fans, "The experience of building a successful band has been fun and rewarding but has also been equally intense and challenging. Over the years, this has taken its toll."
The band chose to forge on, though, and replaced Hjelvik with Ivar Nikolaisen, who had already sung for the group, having lent guest vocals to the song "Blodtørst." Now that new lineup has released their first single "Brätebann," an excellent mix of that signature raucous Kvelertak sound that incorporates smooth, progressive passages to build a refreshing new vibe. The cut will appear on the band's upcoming fourth full-length Splid, due in February via Rise Records. You can pre-order/save the LP here.
"We are very excited that our new album Splid will be released through Rise Records and we look forward to being a part of the Rise family in the coming years," the band commented in a joint statement. "Splid ('discord' in English) is a deep dive into western gluttony, our own stupidity, and the abyss of the earth."
The Norwegian heavy hitters returned to GodCity Studio in Salem, Massachusetts, to record with Converge's Kurt Ballou (who also manned the boards for their first two albums), and nabbed a guest spot by Mastodon singer-bassist Troy Sanders. "Working with Kurt again has been amazing and we're extremely happy with the production," they say of their return. "We've pushed ourselves to the edge this last year — musically, physically, and mentally. The result is one hour of catchy riffs, punk rock, and heavy metal influenced by a world in discord to accompany our way towards Ragnarok."
Splid track listing:
2. Crack of Doom (Feat. Troy Sanders)
6. Uglas hegemoni
7. Fanden ta dette hull!
9. Stevnemøte med Satan
10. Delirium tremens
11. Ved bredden av Nihil