Kataklysm Drummer Max Duhamel Forced to Exit Band Due to Health Issues

Kataklysm Drummer Max Duhamel Forced to Exit Band Due to Health Issues
Montreal death metal vets Kataklysm are currently prepping a follow-up to their 2010 LP Heaven's Venom, but they're doing it without longtime drummer Max Duhamel. The blast-beat-favouring musician has announced he's taking a break from the band to deal with some health issues brought on by a battle with alcoholism.

"It is with an extremely heavy heart that I announce today that I will not be performing on the new Kataklysm album," Duhamel confirmed in a statement. "I have been struggling with many personal issues the last year but lately, the main one has been alcohol."

He elaborated on his condition, saying that he's been struggling out on the road with side-project Ex Deo and will officially take some time once that band wraps some European touring commitments in May.

Duhamel added: "It's been affecting my body in a very negative way  to the point that when I came home after the Ex Deo tour we just did, I tried to stop drinking for few days and it's been very hard without having any with drawls symptoms. I've also lost a lot of weight as some of noticed recently and I'm not in good shape."

The drummer mentioned that while he's heard the material to be put forth on Kataklysm's impending Waiting for the End to Come, calling "truly incredible stuff," the physical demands of recording the LP are just too much at present. Duhamel hopes to return to the band in due time, but notes that he needs to get healthy before he can contemplate rejoining Kataklysm.

"I need to clean my body and my mind and come back focused to Kataklysm and I don't know how long this will take," he said.

Duhamel has played with Kataklysm off and on since the mid-'90s, starting this last stretch via their 2006 set In the Arms of Devastation.

A replacement drummer has yet to be named, but the band anticipate their Waiting for the End to Come will arrive either later this year, or early in 2014. The album will be recorded by guitarist Jean Francois Dagenais, with mixing duties going to Zeuss (Suffocation, Hatebreed, Arsis).

UPDATE: In response to Duhamel's departure, the band have released the following statement:

We as a band of brothers stand by Max's decision to get better and to rise from his demons. We all have them; some of us try to hide them and pretend they don't exist, some of us have the courage to confront them. Max has shown strength to fight his. We stand by him and hope that he returns home when he is ready. In the meanwhile, I want everyone to know for those who haven't seen the Iron Will documentary that this band's story is one of drama, pain and the long road to victory. We will practice what we preach on our album and we will come out swinging hard and strong with this new record. We will find a suitable replacement and we will announce him in the next few weeks. We will not disappoint any of you. We have read the messages of encouragements you have posted; we have the best fans. As the saying goes 'the show must go on.' Here's a cool clip we found from Rocky that describes well what is to come from your veterans (http://youtu.be/dtjGvBnAxVE). 'Horse power.' See you soon.

UPDATE 2: Katakylsm have recruited ex-Neuraxis drummer Oli Beaudoin to record their new album Waiting for the End to Come and to play the band's upcoming shows starting on June 30 in Costa Rica.