Guitarist Allen West has announced his departure from OBITUARY. West's exit from the group comes on the eve of OBITUARY's U.S. tour with NAPALM DEATH and Allen feels that the fans deserve no surprises when they don't see the band that they were expecting. Allen will concentrate fully on LOWBROW, whose revamped lineup consists of founding members West, Curtis Beeson (NASTY SAVAGE) and Richard Hornberger, along with new bassist Jon Fronza. LOWBROW will continue without former members Ben Meyer (NASTY SAVAGE, ACHERON) and Richard Bateman (AGENT STEEL, NASTY SAVAGE).
LOWBROW are currently preparing material for a new recording to follow 2001's "Sex. Violence.Death". More information will be made available soon.
Although OBITUARY have yet to comment on West's departure, singer John Tardy posted the following message on the band's official message board in response to a fan who complained about West being too "wasted" during the group's appearance at the Hole In The Sky festival in Norway this past weekend (Aug. 28) (photos and video footage courtesy of ScreamMagazine.com):
"First, I would like to apologize for Allen and that is all I can do. We (OBITUARY) did what we could and just could not control Allen that day...he was a mess! You were at the show and could see that we tried our best and Allen was just too drunk to play a good show. You hear stories like this all the time (with all bands) and just like me you have to wonder why someone just can't be professional with what they are doing! We have all the time in the world to party as much as we want after the show and you would think you could show up ready to play and give your fans 100%! In this case Allen failed us! We are not happy and have talked with him about this and I am not sure what we are going to do! He has to make up his mind as to what he wants to do! Once again I can only apologize and and tell you that where the rest of the band gives it 100% everyshow no matter what and one weak link (Allen) can bring all that down! I also realize that his perfomance is a reflection on the whole band and that is what hurts the most when I look at how hard the rest of the band works to be the very best that we can! We can only hope that Allen gets his priorities straight!"
OBITUARY's latest CD, "Frozen In Time", was released in July via Roadrunner Records.