Opeth have just announced that former Paradise Lost, Bloodbath and Bodom After Midnight drummer Waltteri Väyrynen has joined the band on a full time basis, and he will make his live debut with the band in Tallin, Estonia on Septmeber 14.
Väyrynen replaces stand-in drummer Sami Karppinen, who steped in t help the band out on their US tur with Mastodon following the departure of Martin Axenrot, who left the band on the eve of the tour.
In a statement on Facebook, Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt said: ”We just had our first rehearsal with Walt yesterday and it went incredibly well! We were all very nervous beforehand, but Waltteri completely killed it! Pure delivery! We went through 16 songs (!) from start to finish and didn’t have a single correctional comment. It’s quite remarkable! I was astounded, and so were the rest of the band. He has everything, really. From the required laid-back sensitivity an Opeth drummer needs, via the classic rock, prog rock, metal grooves and onwards to downright mega-intricate technical virtuosity. On top of that, he knows the songs extremely well (already) both from the recorded versions as well as the sometimes modified live versions. We were hearing drum rolls and beats that we hadn’t heard since the songs were recorded. The audience is certainly up for plenty of air-drum moments connected to their favourite Opeth songs. Walt has got it down, to put it mildly.
"On top of everything, Waltteri is an awesome bloke. Genuine. Super nice. Funny. And young! He was born the same year we recorded our debut album, Orchid. Imagine that!
"We very much look forward to going on the road together with him. Create new music together. Play all over the world. And to provide a musical future together with us. This is no small feat for a band 32 years of age. I’m very, very excited about him joining us, and I hope that our audience will embrace him with open arms.
"I’d also want to take this opportunity to thank Sami for saving our asses when we most needed saving. If it hadn’t been for his efforts, friendship and care we’d probably been 'on ice' as we speak. We’re furthermore happy to keep Sami as part of the Opeth family. His contribution to Opeth is beyond words, and he’ll continue to help make our performances as good as possible. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, Sami!”
Opeth's pandemic-delayed European tour in support of 2019's In Cauda Venenum kicks off in Tallin on September 14. The band play London's Eventim Hammersmith Apollo on November 18.