Opeth recently announced from their Instagram account that after 15 years of working together, their drummer Martin Axenrot just parted ways with the band.

Axe joined Opeth in 2006 after their then-drummer Martin Lopez had to leave the band due to his health condition. Knowing him from the supergroup Bloodbath, Opeth vocalist Michael Akerfeldt decided it would be a good idea to hire Axe as their new drummer.

After working together for 15 years, Opeth recently announced that Axe left the band due to ‘conflicts of interests.’ They stated that their current North American tour will not be affected, as the drummer of the Swedish heavy metal band, Therion, has come to the rescue.

Akerfeldt stated in the announcement that although he is upset that Axe left the band, they are not going to cancel or postpone their current tour. He is glad that Sami Karppinen is joining them and making it possible for them to continue. He wished Axe luck in his life after Opeth and indicated that there are no hard feelings.

Here is the announcement:

“Due to conflict of interests, Martin Axenrot is no longer part of the Opeth collective. His replacement for the North American tour with Mastodon and Zeal & Ardor will be powerhouse drummer Sami Karppinen. His first show will take place today (November 16) at Harrah’s Cherokee center in Asheville, NC.

Said Michael Akerfeldt: ‘However sad it is to not have Axe in the band anymore, we’re not in a position to linger on anything that is going to hold us back. We need to soldier on. Needless to say, we’re incredibly thankful that Sami is helping us out, making this tour possible at all. On top of that, he’s quite outstanding, really!’ He continues: ‘All of us wish the best for Axe in all and any of his future endeavors. He has been an incredibly important part of the band for many years now, and we’re all heartbroken it didn’t work out in the end. But that’s life, I guess…'”

‘In Cauda Venenum,’ released in 2019, was the last studio album of the band to feature Axe before his departure. They supported the album with a tour in 2019 that continued until 2020, and currently, they are on the road until summer 2022.

You can see their post below.

Photo Credit: Opeth – Instagram