In a recent press release, Norwegian black metallers Vreid announced that guitarist Ese has left the band. Posted on the band's MySpace, Ese's explanation for leaving the band he's played in since its inception in 2004 is the normal, undisclosed "personal reasons."

It seems Ese informed the band of his leaving not too long after they returned from a successful first tour of the states. During that time, we caught up with bassist Hvàll Kvåle and he revealed that even on tour the band had been working on their follow-up to 'Milorg' and speculated the band would be in their private studio to record by February with the goal of a fall release. And it looks like there will be no interruption on that plan, as the band has already named Stian 'Strom' Bakketeig to replace Ese.

Already close to the members of Vried, Strom played with the founding members in their former band, Windir, that ended in 2004 after vocalist Terje 'Valfar' Bakken died from hypothermia.

"When I was asked to be a part of Vreid, the decision was easy. I know these guys both personally and as skilled musicians, and to be a part of this great band is to me an [honor]," Strom stated in the band's press release.

On top of working on the new album, the band is already practicing with Strom for upcoming European shows in March, where they promised to play older material and songs they've never done live before.

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