Borknagar will no longer be fronted by lead vocalist Andreas “Vintersorg” Hedlund. After nearly twenty years, the man known as “Vintersorg” has left the band citing personal reasons. Bassist Simen “I.C.S. Vortex” Hestnæs will take over vocal duties once again. Hestnæs recorded vocals on The Archaic Course (1998), and Quintessence (2000) before Hedlund took over on vocals and recorded Empiricism (2001) and every subsequent Borknagar release.
Borknagar released this statement:
“Due to personal reasons, Andreas “Vintersorg” Hedlund has decided to step down as the lead vocalist of Borknagar. The decision is based on mutual understanding, respect and in a friendly manner with the rest of the band. Borknagar would like to express their sincere gratitude for the musical brotherhood we have shared throughout the years and wish Andreas the very best in his future endeavours. There is no drama to this situation, and our friendship will remain. No one should be too surprised if “Vintersorg” reappears as a guest vocalist on a future record.
As a natural consequence, I.C.S Vortex will take a step forward into the role as the band´s lead vocalist, and will, together with Lars Nedland, carry on Borknagars legacy of vocal brilliance.”
Guitarist Øystein G. Brun had this to say:
“It is with a lot of respect, gratitude and good memories I see one of my brothers in music set sails for new shores. Times are changing, and we both saw this coming for a while. Even though we are splitting as partners in Borknagar, I am happy to say that we have decided to carry on our musical brotherhood in Cronian (Official). A new album will be released whenever time allows for that.”
Andreas “Vintersorg” Hedlund spoke about his decision to leave Borknagar
”Time has come to make some tough decisions and let reality set the rules. It is with both a light and heavy heart I leave Borknagar as the lead vocalist. The light part is that it´s done in an amicable way and that this is the right thing to do for me, in respect for the fans and Borknagar.
The heavy part is that it’s hard to leave something this meaningful and beautiful. My situation after the accident makes it hard to tour, and my job situation complicates things further. So in a way I’m not ”leaving” as such, it’s more like I’m putting some oil into the Borknagar machinery so the band can keep their busy schedule, get out on the road and meet you guys.
Borknagar will always have a special place in my heart and mind, and I hope that I can do some guest performances further down the road. The guys in the band are fantastic musicians and persons and I wish them the best of luck. However, Cronian is not dead and may shake its head before you know it.”
Borknagar is currently in the final stages of recording their eleventh album. It will be mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studio closer this spring. An official release date will be dropped in a not so distant future.”