Finnish melodic metallers ALTARIA have parted ways with NIGHTWISH guitarist Emppu Vuorinen. According to a post on the band's web site, Emppu left the group by mutual agreement [and his] departure was made with no hard feelings."

Vuorinen's exit from ALTARIA is not expected to affect the recording process for the band's sophomore album, "Divinity", which is scheduled for a May 2004 release through AOR Heaven sub-label Metal Heaven Records. "ALTARIA will continue as four-piece, but there will be a second guitarist added for the forthcoming live shows, the band write. "Petri Aho, who has played together with [bassist] Marko [Pukkila] and [drummer] Tony [Smedjebacka] in BLINDSIDE for many years, will be handling the guitar duties together with Jani [Liimatainen]."


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