CD review HJELVIK ‘Welcome to Hel’

Hellwig and Hjelvik should not be mixed up. While the first have been present in German volkmusic for decades, it is Hjelvik who interprets Folk Music in a much different way. But step by step.

Erlend Hjelvik was front man of Kvelertak for many years before he left the band in 2018 to start something new. With ‘Welcome to Hel’ the ‘new’ takes shape and form. It’s the singer’s first album, an record that is rooted in Nordic mythology. After Hjelvik had exchanged jeans and t-shirt for a leather cape, the visual part was settled. Speaking of ‘visuals’, the artwork for ‘Welcome to Hel’ was created by none other than Joe Petagno, who has already created artworks for albums from e.g. Motörhead and you feel a bit reminded of ‘Rock’n’Roll’ when looking at ‘Welcome to Hel’.

Concerning the music, Hjelvik describes his style as “Black Viking Heavy Metal” and I think that’s a pretty good summary. With ‘Father War’ the album starts with a lot of momentum, ‘Glory of Hel’ contains a real rock’n’roll spirit and ‘Ironwood’ is also very pleasing. Also worth mentioning is ‘Thor’s Hammer’, a song that is short but intense. The hammer is swung in a hypnotic rhythm and the solo part is not of bad quality. However, on top of it all, Hjelvik’s hoarse voice is the glue that binds it all together.

It’ s certainly not the best time to release a solo debut. Tours are not doable and so the album remains to bring Hjelvik and his new song to the people. All in all we can conclude that this undertaking will surely work out and we can already be excited about future live shows, because according to Hjelvik’s own statements he has bigger plans. Something with pyrotechnics and other things. One can remain excited.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


  1. Father War
  2. Thor’s Hammer
  3. Helgrinda
  4. The Power Ballad of Freyr
  5. Glory of Hel
  6. 12th Spell
  7. Ironwood
  8. Kveldulv
  9. North Tsar
  10. Necromance

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Black Viking Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: November 20th, 2020



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