Vocalist Pål Mathiesen (a.k.a. Athera) has announced his departure from the Norwegian metal band SUSPERIA. He says in a statement: "Ladies and gentlemen, I bid you farewell. At least for a good while.
"Considering my health situation and lack of progress contributing anything to my beloved band the last few years, I have decided to pull myself out of the mix and let the guys continue on without me. We remain the best of friends and this is not a breakup due to any bad circumstances. It's simply me realizing I cannot deliver what you as fans and the band expects of me anymore. And I do not want to hold this brilliant band back anymore. They deserve better and you guys deserve to hear more new music.
"It is with regret and sadness I now do this, but trust me, it is the best for all parties involved.
"I am left with a strange feeling. SUSPERIA has been with me for almost half my life and it is my family. So this hurts. But for me staying in the band any further would hurt you guys and the band even more.
"I don't know what will happen in the future, if they will get a new inspired vocalist or if Memnock will do the vocals (I vote YEAH!!) But something good will come of this in the form of a new album, or maybe even two!
"Maybe I'll pull the Bruce Dickinson/Rob Halford and make a return one day to the band. But for now I am out, guys.
"I thank you so much for all the support through the years. From the bottom of my broken heart.
"Sorry we've been away for so long. SUSPERIA will be back. One way or another."
Added the remaining members of SUSPERIA: "As you all know, Athera has left the band. We are still brothers and very good friends. We wish him all the best in the future.
"The new SUSPERIA album is almost done and we have to say that we are very excited about the new album. It gives us goose bumps when listening through all the songs. It's going to be raw as fuck!
"This album will be a mix between 'Predominance' and 'Unlimited', and for the first time in many years we feel that the music is back to where it should be.
"New vocalist will be official after trying out a few hand-picked singers."
SUSPERIA in 2011 released a CD celebrating its 10-year anniversary as a recording artist, "We Are The Ones".