Guitarist Nils Norberg has announced his departure from the Swedish melodic metal band NOCTURNAL RITES."I have decided to lay down the guitar as my interest for music kind of cooled down the last years," he writes in a statement. So I'm not a part of NOCTURNAL RITES anymore. It's just because of myself. I decided to do this and it has absolutely not been a bad feeling in the band in any way. I don't know how or if I will go on with music, but I will take a break from the guitar that has been taking up all my waking time the last 20 years. The band will always be a second family for me and I'm not closing the door to play with them again if it would be an opportunity and I would have the urge to play again. I think the band will go on and will still make kick ass music both live and in the studio. I just wanna say thanx to the band for the best times in my life and to all the nice people I met and partied, destroyed, laughed and kicked ass with along these 12 years in the band. Thanx so much! Take care and maybe we meet again somewhere!" The band comments: "The remaining members would like to extend a huge thank you to Norberg for his time in the band and wish him all the best! We respect his decision but hope he finds his way back to music. Applicants interested in replacing Norberg are of course more than welcome to email us their demos at guitarist[at]nocturnalrites.com." NOCTURNAL RITES' latest album, "The 8th Sin", last year landed on the Japanese album chart at position No. 68 (No. 28 on "international" chart). An e-card for the CD is available at this location. NOCTURNAL RITES' video for "Never Again", which was directed by the band's drummer Owe Lingvall of Village Road Films (WOLF, CARNAL FORGE, MORGANA LEFAY), can be viewed below.