Swedish metallers HAMMERFALL have released the following statement:
"Life in a heavy metal band is indeed filled with twists and turns, highs and lows, ups and downs. On Monday, we rolled out our own whiskey, Legacy Of Kings. Today is a shocking and monumental day for all, HAMMERFALL members and fans alike: Anders Johansson has decided to leave the band, after 15 years as the drummer. Brought on by increasing musical differences, as well as a career in the music industry that spans almost four decades, he has come to the conclusion that enough is enough.
"But fear not, we have already formulated a plan to get us through this even stronger. As a replacement, we have found a most excellent drummer in David Wallin, who most notably has been beating the skins in the Swedish industrial force PAIN. David will fill the void left by 'The Swedish Tank' with his youthful intensity and fantastic musicianship during the upcoming tour. We wish Anders all the best in his future endeavors and hope that 15 years can't be erased that easily.
"Also, bassist Fredrik Larsson will have his second child in December, and is therefore on parental leave through March. But we think you will like the choice to fill his shoes. For anyone who is the least bit familiar with HAMMERFALL, this one needs no introduction: handling the four-string duty in Fredrik's absence, none other than former guitar player Stefan Elmgren has agreed to make a triumphant return to the band! Yet another reason not to miss catching us live on the upcoming tours, this will be a very unique constellation.
"So it is with mixed emotions we say goodbye to an old friend and welcome an even older one back into the fold. The Swedish Templars of Steel cannot and will not be subdued, we will carry on heeding the call as long as the crimson thunder still is flowing in our veins. It is not the end of anything, it's the dawn of a new era. And we welcome it with our hammers high!"
HAMMERFALL's new album, "(r)Evolution", sold around 1,900 copies in the United States in its first week of release.
The band's previous CD, "Infected", opened with around 1,700 units back in 2011. The CD debuted at No. 16 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
The first single from "(r)Evolution", "Bushido", was released on July 18 digitally as well as on vinyl. The song sums up the band and its history perfectly, seeing as "bushido" means "the way of the warrior" in Japanese.
With "(r)Evolution", HAMMERFALL takes things back to the roots in many ways, as the band once again worked with producer Fredrik Nordström, who helmed HAMMERFALL's two milestone releases "Glory To The Brave" and "Legacy Of Kings" during the group's early years and thus played a major part in the development of HAMMERFALL.
The music for "(r)Evolution" was recorded in March and April at guitarist Oscar Dronjak's Castle Black Studios. Singer Joacim Cans then went to the United States for vocal recordings, once again working with James Michael (SCORPIONS, MÖTLEY CRÜE), who previously collaborated with HAMMERFALL on "Infected". The album was mixed and mastered by Fredrik Nordström and Henrik Udd at Studio Fredman.
"(r)Evolution" represents yet another reunion of sorts for HAMMERFALL, who hired cover artist Andreas Marschall, the "father" of HAMMERFALL's mascot Hector, to design the artwork for the new CD.