EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt has posted the following message on the band's official web site:
"This has been another dreadfully difficult time here in the EXODUS world…this is one of the most depressing moments of my musical career…
"I‘m saddened to announce that Tom Hunting has fallen very ill, he's been hospitalized several times over the course of the last two months.
"First things first! I need to be very clear about this before any rumors arise….this is in NO WAY associated to drugs… Tom had conquered his drug addiction well over a year ago and we are all very very proud of him for the unbelievable amount of strength and desire that it took to get and stay clean..
"Our unfortunate reality at the moment is, the recording of the new album has been delayed due to Tom's illness and recently it became evident that he would be unable to resume his duties behind the kit for us. …. Tom and the band both know he cannot continue as our drummer and his health must come before any obligations to the band. We have and will continue to support Tom in any way we can so he can regain his health. We all love and care for Tom dearly and will continue to help him in every way that we can….by no means was Tom fired or nor did Tom quit the band …the sad fact is that Tom is not able to play drums at this time….and we (EXODUS) have got to carry on without him….
"On a brighter note I'd like to take this time to welcome to our ranks as the newest member of EXODUS, Paul Bostaph (SLAYER, FORBIDDEN). We could not be any luckier than to have as awesome a drummer as Paul available and living in our own backyard. I am stoked about working with Paul as he is, bar none, one of the best drummers in the world, and we are fired up to have someone with his ability coming aboard. Obviously, the tracking of the new record will be delayed, but we are committed to hitting the studio ASAP. The songs are fuckin' savage and a perfect fit for Paul's style of drumming.
"As soon as we get into the studio and start tracking I will keep everyone updated on how things are going via the EXODUS message board…..my goal will be to give a daily studio report…..and before you know it maybe a few sound clips will be made available to hold you over until the September release…"
EXODUS' as-yet-untitled follow-up to "Tempo of the Damned" will once again be produced by Andy Sneap (MACHINE HEAD, ARCH ENEMY, NEVERMORE) and will mark the band's first release with new singer Rob Dukes. Among the tracks set to appear on the CD is "Shovel Headed Kill Machine" (working title), which guitarist Gary Holt has described as "one of the fastest EXODUS songs of all time."