Martin Axenrot Leaves Opeth

2021-11-17 by Fernando Alves STAFF | 84 Comments
Sweden's Opeth have announced on their social media that their longtime drummer, Martin Axenrot, has left the band due to conflict of interest. The statement goes as follows:

"Due to a conflict of interests, Martin Axenrot is no longer part of the Opeth collective,” an official statement reads. "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."

Mikael Akerfeldt adds, "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 and all. On top of that, he’s quite outstanding, really! All of us wish the best for Axe in all and any of his future endeavors. He has been [an] 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…"

Martin had been with the band for over a decade, having replaced Martin Lopez in 2006.

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Tagged: Opeth

Comments:Add a Comment 
robotmagician
November 17th 2021
1320 Comments


assuming the conflict of interest was that he no longer wanted to make boring prog rock?

Zakusz
November 17th 2021
222 Comments


I would imagine that would be it as well

Digging: Cynic - Ascension Codes

SteakByrnes
November 17th 2021
25599 Comments


Too bad he wasn't a guitarist cause then I could say "his axe has been left to rot"

Digging: Volumes - Happier?

Sabrutin
November 17th 2021
8119 Comments


o7

Eager/anxious to see what comes next

MalConstant
November 17th 2021
150 Comments


My guess is that he refused to get vaccinated.

Novaldex
November 17th 2021
23 Comments


Martin Lopez was the best drummer Opeth has ever had imo. Dude was fucking sick.

Odal
November 17th 2021
652 Comments


Vax is a good guess. Hard to imagine he would leave the band due to musical direction on such short notice before a tour (and making a handful of bland albums in a row)

Aluktodolo
November 17th 2021
163 Comments


Strangely worded. Conflict of interests is usually meant in a financial sense.

Dromasta
November 17th 2021
182 Comments



"Martin Lopez was the best drummer Opeth has ever had imo. Dude was fucking sick" [2]

Mesm277
November 17th 2021
1063 Comments


Sad news, beast of a drummer. However, agree that Lopez was the best fit for them. I wonder if the door is open for a return?

heck
November 17th 2021
6243 Comments


Martin Vax-em-not

Digging: Converge - Bloodmoon: I

sonictheplumber
November 17th 2021
13980 Comments


heard he banged mikael's wife

botb
November 17th 2021
14946 Comments


Now he can just rip it up full time in bloodbath, opeth hasn’t put out anything worthwhile in like 15 years, seems like a win win to me

keaton_86
November 17th 2021
430 Comments


Martin Lopez was the best drummer Opeth has ever had imo. Dude was fucking sick. [3]

He had such a unique groove.

Trifolium
November 17th 2021
27868 Comments


Thanks for Heritage Axe, I'll miss you in the band! 💚

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2021
9331 Comments


Well, if you can't tour for whatever reason nowadays, you cannot be in a band like Opeth, simple as that.

Lest we forget that Lopez and Lindgren left because they couldn't tour nonstop, a condition routinely prompted by the bands' management.

Digging: Lock Up - The Dregs of Hades

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2021
15821 Comments


This sounds less than happy.

Digging: Obscura - A Valediction

Purpl3Spartan
November 17th 2021
1976 Comments


Be interesting to see if they make an official statement of the reasons beyond "conflict of interest" but probably not based on the tone of this.

Digging: Satyr - Locus

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2021
15821 Comments


It does not sound amicable no.

beefshoes
November 17th 2021
8239 Comments


Hopefully whoever they hire to replace him nudges them toward playing good music again.

Digging: Cynic - Ascension Codes

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2021
17052 Comments


Sami Karppinen from Therion is playing with them at the moment

Digging: Malignant Altar - Realms of Exquisite Morbidity

emmny
November 17th 2021
66 Comments



Vax is a good guess. [2]

rodrigo90
November 17th 2021
7098 Comments


Martin Lopez was the best drummer Opeth has ever had imo. Dude was fucking sick.


Uruguay some incredible talents...

And then there's the Bjork's stalker.

rodrigo90
November 17th 2021
7098 Comments


Martin Lopez was the best drummer Opeth has ever had imo. Dude was fucking sick.


Uruguay some incredible talents...

And then there's the Bjork's stalker.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2021
19894 Comments


Sad news, as he is an incredible player. That last line in the statement (sounding like the vocal equivalent of a shrug) does make me suspect it's due to something on his part that they can't help, like not getting vaccinated.

Digging: Cynic - Ascension Codes

Laen
November 17th 2021
672 Comments


Martin is a colossal drummer who will have massive shoes to fill. Very unfortunate but the change-up will be interesting to see how it goes, I don't think it will impact Opeth's current prog rock style realistically.

FreudsPocketCanoe
November 17th 2021
64 Comments


Lol all this love for Axenrot, y'all need to branch out more.

Lopez was actually something special, his departure was felt. Axe is replaceable.

Egarran
November 17th 2021
25603 Comments


How dare you besmirch the name of Axenrot in that horrible way?

You absolute monster.

Digging: Kauan - Sorni Nai

supremejelly
November 17th 2021
1229 Comments


I'll never forgive Axe for taking liberties with the fill at 00:52 of Under the Weeping Moon on 2007's The Roundhouse Tapes. Never!

supremejelly
November 17th 2021
1229 Comments


In fact, I think that digression is the "conflict of interest" this is all about!

Keyblade
November 18th 2021
30312 Comments


Lopez still prob my fav drummer, but Axenrot went crazy on Heritage can't lie

beefshoes
November 18th 2021
8239 Comments


I used to think that everyone aside from Akerfeldt was more or less dispensable, but I've gotten to the point where I'd give a ton to see the classic lineup form their own band to see the direction that they'd take. They're all incredibly skilled players, and I feel like they'd be capable of making a fantastic album.

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2021
12482 Comments


^ I'd argue that Peter Lindgren was almost as important to Opeth as Akerfeldt when he was in the band. He helped a lot with the guitar parts and performed a bunch of the solos, as well as co-writing several songs. Once Fredrik Akesson replaced him, though, that was when Akerfeldt took full control (or even more than he already did, lol)

ConcubinaryCode
November 18th 2021
5989 Comments


I wish I could care about this band, though Axenrot is a pretty black metal name ngl.

beefshoes
November 18th 2021
8239 Comments


Peter's exit was because of that element of control from what I've gathered, given that Akerfeldt wanted such a drastic change of direction. It's unfortunate for sure, because Opeth post-GR has effectively been an Akerfeldt solo project.

Eakflanderyof
November 18th 2021
3704 Comments


As much as i love Lopez and how well he fit with the band, it's tough for me to say he was better than axe. Axe had chops for days and also complemented the songs very well. His performances on watershed and heritage are outstanding. After that, they began reining in the technicality in favor of a more classic prog style

zaruyache
November 18th 2021
24734 Comments


sami make opeth go symph metalllll

Digging: Ethereal Shroud - Trisagion

Kole
November 18th 2021
370 Comments


Axe proved himself with Heritage and anyone talking shit about his playing is just wrong.

Flugmorph
November 18th 2021
25234 Comments


damn sucks

good luck to everyone involved though o7

Demon of the Fall
November 18th 2021
21654 Comments


I guess we'll always have Heritage. Shame.

Artuma
November 18th 2021
32437 Comments


well that's a bummer, axenrot is a beast. if there was any reason to listen to the last few opeth albums it'd be for his drumming

Egarran
November 18th 2021
25603 Comments


Mikael comments and you will never guess what they play afterwards!

https://www.reddit.com/r/Opeth/comments/qw0t6p/mikael_always_a_class_act_making_light_of_the/

Demon of the Fall
November 18th 2021
21654 Comments


To Bid You Farewell?

Egarran
November 18th 2021
25603 Comments


Aw that would be sweet

StormChaser
November 18th 2021
1008 Comments


Axe deserves to go play actual metal somehwere, he wasn't born to rehash 70s prog

Digging: Be'lakor - Coherence

sometimes
November 18th 2021
178 Comments


Sad to hear, wish him well though

Asdfp277
November 18th 2021
23653 Comments


martin axolotl

Digging: Squalus - The Great FIsh...

sometimes
November 18th 2021
178 Comments


axolmao lolol

Trifolium
November 18th 2021
27868 Comments


StormC untrue! His Heritage performance is totally heartfelt and genuine. Too amazing not to be his thing.

StormChaser
November 19th 2021
1008 Comments


Well I love his performance and the album is cool, but shortly after that Mikael started wearing fedoras

Demon of the Fall
November 19th 2021
21654 Comments


'Axe deserves to go play actual metal somehwere, he wasn't born to rehash 70s prog'

is that because 'Axe' sounds metal? - only reason to agree. His performance on Heritage is definitely an easy counterpoint.

Mythodea
November 19th 2021
6918 Comments


After searching for a bit to see if the antivax rumours are true, I think it might just be that: a rumour. I saw on Per Wiberg's instagram a comment saying that they're making an album with Axe, and also that Αxe's planning on opening a small coffee place with his wife. So maybe he's in a different point in life than touring/recording? Anyway, the antivax thing has been heavily circulating and it might be unfair to judge someone based on sth we have literally no evidence.

Trifolium
November 19th 2021
27868 Comments


Amen Myth! Super true, 100% agree. People should know better by now.

Assemblage
November 19th 2021
1068 Comments


And if it was an antivax thing, what, would it be cool to throw whatever judgement people wanted toward it?

Mythodea
November 19th 2021
6918 Comments


That's a great question, as well. I am against calling out people on their antivax stand. I don't get it too, I'm fully vaccinated, and I find the arguments dumb most of the times. BUT, antivax is a proof a system failing its people, not the other way around. But before I get carried away and be all political - I know some people would mind - let's just focus on having no evidence other than a bitter statement from Mikael

@Trif ❤🧡💛

Trifolium
November 19th 2021
27868 Comments


Perhaps not, Assemblage, good point. But throwing all sorts of accusations his way without even one sliver of proof is even worse.

@Myth 😍💕

Demon of the Fall
November 19th 2021
21654 Comments


'And if it was an antivax thing, what, would it be cool to throw whatever judgement people wanted toward it?'

yeah it would...

but given this is all based on idle speculation/rumour, then of course we can't. Honestly I saw some of the comments ^ and decided not to get involved because it was a) possibly unsubstantiated and b) ascertaining the validity of the accusations would require effort on my part, effort I wasn't willing to give.

I'm here because Opeth. The underlying reasons for Axe being axed aren't really my concern.

Trifolium
November 19th 2021
27868 Comments


I like being a little careful with dealing out judgement online though. Especially from a distance, when we cannot look at the situation closely and most of its aspects are hidden from us (as is certainly the case here).

But 'I'm here because of Opeth. The underlying reasons for Axe being axed aren't really my concern.' is 100% true as well, even including a little play on words, even more points.

Assemblage
November 19th 2021
1068 Comments


Appreciate the replies, I'm glad my comment didn't come off too much as a stick in the mud, but I'm curious of the general perception now and then and I get an itch. I agree with the majority of the sentiments expressed, just curious. It can be a lengthy (and intriguing) discussion when appropriate.

Trifolium
November 19th 2021
27868 Comments


For sure. Sadly, most of the time, the internet is not the place for this kind of conversation. Conditions aren't suitable: too much screaming going on! But this was nice, Assemblage.

Assemblage
November 19th 2021
1068 Comments


Most definitely, m/ m/. Cheers!

Morningrise767
November 19th 2021
3179 Comments


He will be missed in Opeth, dude was a beast behind the kit. Maybe now more time devoted to Bloodbath?

Also yeah Lopez returning would be unreal.

Mythodea
November 19th 2021
6918 Comments


Ι don't think Lopez would be remotely interested in that. Soen's a great band where he actually gets to do whatever he likes

Morningrise767
November 19th 2021
3179 Comments


yeah true, very unlikely he'd wanna rejoin. just a cool thought is all

StormChaser
November 19th 2021
1008 Comments


is that because 'Axe' sounds metal? - only reason to agree. His performance on Heritage is definitely an easy counterpoint.

Lol, that would be amazing, but no, it's kind of because of his resume before Opeth and during his time playing there

Egarran
November 19th 2021
25603 Comments


...but speculating is the fun part

Trifolium
November 19th 2021
27868 Comments


Speculation: fine!
Accusation: silly!

The difference between
Oh my he could have received a rare disease from his hamster and be too embarrassed to tell!
And
That stupid bastard doesn't want to be vaccinated I'll delete my entire Opeth library!!!!!

Demon of the Fall
November 19th 2021
21654 Comments


stating speculation as fact is the issue, it starts off as a rumour and suddenly gets blown out of all proportion - that's 'Chinese whispers' in the age of the internet for you

P.S. I wonder if that phrase is frowned upon now?

StormChaser
November 19th 2021
1008 Comments


I mean are people really triggered by other people not being vaccinated even on a semi anonymous music site?

Demon of the Fall
November 19th 2021
21654 Comments


no it makes much more sense to be triggered by someone screwing up an 'Opeth ranked' list or a negative review for your fave artist, because that shit is waaaaaay more important

StormChaser
November 19th 2021
1008 Comments


In the context of this website damn straight it is

Egarran
November 19th 2021
25603 Comments


Preach demon

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2021
19894 Comments


I’m glad the anti-vax thing is just an unsubstantiated rumor. Weird that as soon as the news broke people started saying that, but I guess it was just hearsay, at least for now.

Egarran
November 19th 2021
25603 Comments


It is a pretty normal phenomenon these days, so I feel some speculation is warranted.

After all, we are anonymous weirdos. Can't expect too much.

Psilocybentity
November 19th 2021
45 Comments


Martin Lopez stands as the best Opeth drummer IMO. He was a puzzle piece for their sound that fit just right.

Eons
November 19th 2021
3348 Comments


Axe is a weird dude, not in a bad way, but in like an eccentric way, it's hard to say what went down. He's done stuff before like intentionally flood an entire floor in a hotel, for example. Mikael said he has like ADHD or something.

Digging: King Diamond - ''Them''

Mythodea
November 19th 2021
6918 Comments


How does ADHD explain flooding a floor?

Eons
November 19th 2021
3348 Comments


Idk Mikael said it not me. He did say Axe was a really nice guy and a good friend of his, too but that he was a bit odd. Which is accurate. It's somewhere in that 2009 concert documentary they did, it's on YouTube, he mentions it there. ''Opeth royal albert hall interview - Mikael Akerfeldt''

He also mentions there that one time he called axe, and axe told him he had to call back bc his apartment was on fire lmao.

apparently the flood story is that he turned on all the faucets then went to sleep. btw correction apparently it flooded 4 floors of the hotel haha.

Asdfp277
November 19th 2021
23653 Comments


he's doing alchemy

Asdfp277
November 19th 2021
23653 Comments


are the any alchemy-themed prog-rock/metal bands out there?

Trifolium
November 19th 2021
27868 Comments


Probably.

Trifolium
November 19th 2021
27868 Comments


https://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands/Alchemy-Room/136172/
https://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands/The-Alchemy-Index/60833/
https://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands/Alchemy-of-Flesh/140616/

Asdfp277
November 19th 2021
23653 Comments


oh sweet, i'll check if they also tackle alchemy in the lyrics but it should suffice for axen! >:]

Egarran
November 19th 2021
25603 Comments


I feel alchemy is safe speculation, so go ahead, please.



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