Canadian death metallers KATAKLYSM have parted ways with longtime drummer Max Duhamel following the completion of the band's recent European tour. According to an official press release, "Max announced to the band that he will be retiring but accepted nonetheless to do the upcoming North American tour in Feb./March 2003 with HATE ETERNAL, DYING FETUS and INTO ETERNITY... But to the band's surprise, Max has decided to pull out of that engagement a few days ago, leaving the band stranded to find a drummer." Vocalist Maurizio Iacono had this to say: "Well what can I say... Basically that we're pretty much in shock, especially after the tour we've just done and the upper level KATAKLYSM has reached with the last record, we weren't expecting this at all. We all knew that Max was starting to get tired of doing this shit but we didn't expect him to quit so suddenly and also to go back on his word about doing the tour in Feb./March, which is something he is not known to do at all!! We've struggled to find a last-minute replacement and we found someone who is willing to help us out and make this tour happen, which we are very grateful [for] (although he will not join the band permanently). J-F Richard (BLASTFAME/EON DISSONANCE) is practicing intensively at the moment with guitarist J-F Dagenais and bassist Stephane Barbe in hopes of getting everything done in time for a 35-min. set. I've asked Max for a statement but I haven't received one, if anything I will post it on our website. We will find the right replacement and move on. The songwriting will not be affected as Max was never really part of the writing process. We wish Max all the best for the future. We refuse to let down our fans in the States and our touring buddies, therefore we're doing everything possible to be there for the tour."
KATAKLYSM have plans to embark on a full Canadian tour in late spring, to be followed by an appearance at the BW&BK festival in Cleveland in June and the Wacken Open Air festival in August. A full European tour is also in talks for September. The band expect to enter the studio in November to record the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed "Shadows & Dust" CD, tentatively titled "Serenity in Fire". As was the case with "Shadows & Dust", the forthcoming CD will be produced by Dagenais. An early 2004 release through Nuclear Blast Records is expected.