Oakland, California death metallers SUFFOKATE have parted ways with vocalist Ricky Hoover.Commented Hoover: "As of [last week], I announced I will no longer be in the band SUFFOKATE. This has nothing to do with the fact I'm currently going to school. This was a mutual decision; both the band and I feel this is in the best interest for everyone. "Over the last four years, I have done and seen things I never would have gotten the chance to if not for the band. These have been the best years of my life and I won't ever forget all the great memories and all the amazing fans. I am very sad to let this all go but could no longer continue due to other reasons I won't get into. I have no bad feelings or ill will towards the band and will always have love for them and the music I was fortunate enough to help create. I have poured my all and given everything I have into these last two albums and will always be grateful for them and everyone who supported me. No matter what happens, the guys in SUFFOKATE will always be my brothers. I will do whatever i can to help them out. They are some of the greatest people I have ever met and I'm truly thankful I've gotten to do this with them. "This isn't the end for me musically. I plan on doing more in the near future. I have some personal things I need to take care of and priorities to work out in my life before I can do that. I will always have a passion for music and lyrical expression and will never stop writing. Music will always be in my life and a part of who I am. I'm very excited to see what's in store for me so be on the lookout for my future musical endeavors. "To the fans, you are the reason I'm still here and you have helped me just as much as you say I have helped you. I'm extremely fortunate that I've been able to have such a strong connection with you all. If it wasn't for you guys, I wouldn't be who I am today. "I will still have my personal Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram under the name @iamrickyhoover so check those for any updates of what I'm doing." SUFFOKATE's latest album, "Return To Despair", was released last September via Mediaskare Records. The CD was recorded at Undercity Studios in North Hollywood, California.