Finnish metallers AMORAL have issued the following update:
"We are sad to inform you that Niko [Kalliojärvi, vocals] is leaving AMORAL. A while ago he sat us down and told us that he's having serious motivation problems and feels like it's time to do other things. We were in shock, as none of us saw this coming. We were sure Niko was enjoying the ride just as much as we were. We tried reasoning with him, even offering him a year-long break to do whatever else he feels like he needs to do, but quickly realized he had already made his mind. Of course, we were devastated at first. Niko was just as crucial part of the band as the rest of us, and also our frontman, the voice of the band. Was this the end of AMORAL? The rest of us discussed this and were happy to see that we all felt that there's no way we're stopping now. We've worked too hard to get where we are, and we enjoy playing together, so why would we give it all up? We decided to look at the bright side of the situation: this would be our chance to pursue in a more melodic direction, something we've wanted for a long time but weren't able to do with Niko. This shouldn't come as a surprise for you who've been following our doings. The 'rock n' roll vibe' has been present in our live shows and songs since our second album 'Decrowning', and especially on the last album 'Reptile Ride', which had some melodic vocals and a lot of stuff not suitable under the 'technical death metal' tag we've had on us…
"We'll leave it to Niko to explain his decision more specifically. Niko, good luck with whatever it is you decide to do in the future. It was a pleasure having you in the band, and you'll always be 'one of us,' just like your AMORAL tattoo suggests.
"Niko's last gig with us will be at the Thrashia Läpi Yön festival at Tammela, Finland on August 23rd. After this we'll take a long break from gigs, and start writing the fourth AMORAL album. We already have a lot of material to work on, even a couple of songs 99% ready, and we're hyped about how these sound! No release dates or any kind of deadlines have been decided on, as we wanna get this just right. Oh, and we'll probably need to find a new singer too.
"We hereby declare that AMORAL is looking for a new frontman! Anyone who thinks he might have what it takes to be the new singer of this band, please contact us. We're looking for a charismatic, skillful singer (just growling won't cut it) who's willing to give this his 100% and able to do long studio sessions and tours. If interested, please send us a mail with some info about you, a pic and a sample of your singing (mp3, YouTube link etc). Again, we're NOT looking for a new growler, but a singer with a strong personal voice. More Sebastian Bach, less Glen Benton, so to speak ;) Yes, the fourth AMORAL album will be different…
"If you wanna give it a shot, mail us at amoralsinger (at) mail.com.
"Thank you all for your support, we'll keep you updated!"
Niko Kalliojärvi's statement regarding his departure reads as follows:
"After hard thinking, I have decided to leave AMORAL. Nothing has really 'happened,' but along the years things have become more and more clear to me. To get off the train of one of the most promising bands is not an easy decision to make but I have realized that I am much more comfortable doing my things at a slower pace. Unfortunately a bit slower than the AMORAL pace.
"Taking a break and let the rest of the band wait would've felt a bit selfish to me, hence the decision to leave completely. I would love to go on, but I don't want to hold these talented guys. I think it's better to let them find someone with more motivation than wait for mine to come back. I am sure that eventually this is just another big step forward for the band.
"Don't get me wrong, I love doing shows and music, even more than before and in more diverse ways than this far, but I need some time to do something else for a while and let the music bubble somewhere in me and just see if something happens later. Maybe something kick-ass, maybe nothing at all.
"That's it folks, Nigel Rocklake wants to chill out a bit. I want to thank the present and past members of the band as well as the AMORAL fans from all the unique experience during all these years of apocalyptic sci-fi fun. Without you guys I wouldn't be the punk I am now. And well, I'm also very curious to switch to the audience and one day witness the band more solid than ever!"
AMORAL last year entered the album chart in Finland at position No. 5 with the band's latest effort, "Reptile Ride".
An e-card for "Reptile Ride", featuring clips of all the songs on the CD, can be accessed at this location.
"Reptile Ride" (view cover artwork by Aki Siltala at this location) was produced, recorded and mixed by Janne Saksa at Sound Supreme Studios in Hämeenlinna, Finland.
Spikefarm Records in June 2007 released the Internet-only "Leave Your Dead Behind". The bonus track for this release was a cover of Swedish pop star PANDORA's song "The Naked Sun". AMORAL's back catalogue has also gone digital: "Wound Creations" (2004) and "Decrowning" (2005) were released to digital music distributors in May 2007.
AMORAL's video for the song "Leave Your Dead Behind" can be viewed below.
(Thanks: Siria / www.konzi-tip.de)