Drummer Jeramie Kling (VENOM INC., THE ABSENCE, GOREGÄNG) and guitarist Taylor Nordberg (THE ABSENCE, GOREGÄNG) have announced their departure from the veteran Florida death metal band MASSACRE. The duo had joined the group less than a year ago and were said to be working on MASSACRE's fourth studio album at Kling/Nordberg's own Smoke & Mirrors Productions in Spring Hill, Florida.
Kling and Nordberg said in a statement: "It is with both regret and relief that we announce our departure from MASSACRE.
"To everyone who warned us a year ago when we joined the band: you were right.
"It has been a year of severe ups and downs and unfortunately it has become a working environment we cannot be a part of any longer.
"What was presented as a democracy turned out to be a dictatorship with an excruciating lack of communication.
"We will not stand by and have our reputations meddled with by childish behavior.
"We present ourselves as professionals and bring 110% of our beings into all of the projects we have.
"We wrote and presented 14 songs for the band's new album, provided our contacts in the industry which we have naturally/organically procured through our years of touring, only to be accused of trying to take over the band, which is a paranoid delusion. It is also unfortunate that a certain individual refused to speak on the phone to us to discuss any issue of the band, but we have no choice but to bow out of this unhealthy relationship.
"We apologize to our fans and the MASSACRE fans that they will not get to hear the new album we wrote for the band... at least not as a MASSACRE album.
"We cherish our time spent with Michael Borders and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors."
MASSACRE's forthcoming album was supposed to be the first to feature original bassist Michael Borders, as well as the band's first recording in 24 years to feature original vocalist Kam Lee (ex-DEATH, ex-MANTAS).
When Kling and Nordberg's addition to MASSACRE was first announced last December, Lee said that the duo brought "a sensibility and professional mindset that the band was lacking before and so urgently needed." Borders concurred, saying that he and Lee were "giving these guys free rein to be themselves, do their thing, not clone sounds and styles of past members."
MASSACRE parted ways with guitarist Rick Rozz and drummer Mike Mazzonetto in September 2019. At the time, Lee and Borders blamed the split on "contract infringement violations," "poor performance, incompetence, and lack of professionalism."
MASSACRE's latest album, 2014's "Back From Beyond", featured Rozz and Mazzonetto alongside bassist Terry Butler and vocalist Ed Webb.
In early 2017, Butler — who is now playing bass for OBITUARY — told Metal Wani that Rozz and Mazzonetto "destroyed" MASSACRE with their "behind-the-scenes backtalking and backstabbing." He went on to make it clear that Rozz and Lee's then-collaboration could not be called MASSACRE. He said: "They can do all they want and write all the songs in the world they want, but it's not gonna be called MASSACRE."
Photo by Deidra Kling at Relic Imagery