German power metallers BLIND GUARDIAN have parted ways with longtime drummer Thomen Stauch. Frontman Hansi Kürsch's official statement on the matter reads as follows:"No news is good news. This obviously is bad news. After walking along the same musical paths for about 20 years and after several long, open and honest discussions between the four band members, we have all (including Thomen) come to the same conclusion that it is now best for Thomen to leave the band. "Since we developed different musical and personal directions for quite a while now, it turned out to be more and more difficult to find acceptable and suitable solutions for everyone in the band. Such circumstances would have eventually caused severe internal problems. Therefore, to avoid any damage to our close relationship this difficult step is essential. In terms of creativity or progression neither one of us would like to hold the other one back. Due to that fact the split seems to be a sad, but reasonable solution. We wish Thomen all the best for the future and hope to come up with more positive news in the near future. "…and day shall come again" In a separate statement of his own, Stauch emphasized that the split was amicable and offered his gratitude to his former BLIND GUARDIAN colleagues: "As you may have read in Hansi's statement, I am no longer the drummer of BLIND GUARDIAN. From now on we are going our separate ways, at least musically. I must admit it is quite a sad, but necessary decision in order for us to remain friends. "I stand fully behind Hansi's declaration, so I will keep my statement as short as possible, and wish BLIND GUARDIAN all the best for the future, hoping that they find another drummer without any hassle. "I would also like to use this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you who stood by us through all those years, especially our fans. You are the best!!! I hope to see you again soon! "A big thank you to my old colleagues, Hansi, Andre and Marcus, for all the amazing times we've shared." Stauch is currently working on an as-yet-unnamed new project with SOILWORK vocalist Björn "Speed" Strid. The collaboration, which originally went under the COLDSEED moniker, was previously described by Strid as "a mixture between RAMMSTEIN and ALICE IN CHAINS." A full-length album was recenetly recorded and is due later in the year.