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Opeth have recruited Therion drummer Sami Karppinen.

OPETH have parted ways with drummer Martin “Axe” Axenrot due to what the band are calling a “conflict of interests.” Axenrot sat behind the kit for OPETH for almost 16 years and will be replaced by THERION drummer Sami Karppinen for the band’s immediate touring plans.

OPETH issued a statement earlier today (November 16th) which reads: “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 16th) at Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, NC.

Said Mikael Åkerfeldt: “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…”

OPETH’s tour with MASTODON and ZEAL & ARDOR commences tonight. You can see dates below.

OPETH, MASTODON and ZEAL & ARDOR tour dates:

11/16 Asheville, NC – Harrah’s Cherokee Center
11/18 Boston, MA – The Wang Theatre
11/19 Albany, NY – Palace Theatre
11/20 New York City – Hammerstein Ballroom
11/21 Washington, DC – The Anthem
11/23 Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
11/24 Atlanta, GA – The Eastern
11/26 Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater
11/27 Dallas, TX – South Side Ballroom
11/28 Sugar Land, TX – Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
11/30 Mesa, AZ – Mesa Amphitheatre
12/01 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
12/02 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
12/04 Salt Lake City, UT – The Union
12/05 Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom

opeth drummer, OPETH Part Ways With Drummer MARTIN AXENROT; THERION’s SAMI KARPPINEN To Sit In For Tour