Opeth part ways with drummer Martin Axenrot ahead of tour with Mastodon

Opeth begin their co-headlining tour with Mastodon on Tuesday night (11/16) in Asheville, and ahead of that they've announced that they've parted ways with their drummer Martin "Axe" Axenrot (also of Bloodbath), who began touring with them in 2005 and officially became a member in 2006. A "conflict of interests" is given as the reason for his departure, and he'll be replaced on this tour by Sami Karppinen of Therion.

A message of Opeth's social media reads:

Due to conflict of interests, Martin Axenrot is no longer part of the Opeth collective. His replacement for the North American tour with Mastodon and Zeal & Ardor will be powerhouse drummer Sami Karppinen. His first show will take place today (November 16) at Harrah's Cherokee center in Asheville, NC. Said Mikael Akerfeldt: "However sad it is to not have Axe in the band anymore, we're not in a position to linger on anything that is going to hold us back. We need to soldier on. Needless to say, we're incredibly thankful that Sami is helping us out, making this tour possible at all. On top of that, he's quite outstanding, really!". He continues: "All of us wish the best for Axe in all and any of his future endeavors. He has been a incredibly important part of the band for many years now, and we're all heartbroken it didn't work out in the end. But that's life, I guess...."

See Opeth's upcoming dates with Mastodon and Zeal & Ardor below.

Nov 16 - Asheville, NC - ExploreAsheville.com Arena
Nov 18 - Boston, MA - Wang Theater
Nov 19 - Albany, NY - Palace Theatre
Nov 20 - New York City - Hammerstein Ballroom
Nov 21 - Washington, DC - Anthem
Nov 23 - Nashville, TN - The Ryman Auditorium
Nov 24 - Atlanta, GA - The Eastern
Nov 26 - Austin, TX - ACL Live
Nov 27 - Dallas, TX - Southside Music Hall
Nov 28 - Houston, TX - Smart Financial Centre @ Sugarland
Nov 30 - Mesa, AZ - Mesa Amphitheater
Dec 01 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium
Dec 02 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
Dec 04 - Salt Lake City, UT - Union
Dec 05 - Denver, CO - Mission Ballroom