ASHES OF ARES, the band featuring former ICED EARTH members Matt Barlow and Freddie Vidales, has parted ways with drummer Van Williams (ex-NEVERMORE).

Says the band: "This decision was both mutual and amicable, and we wish Van nothing but the best with GHOST SHIP OCTAVIUS and any other future endeavors.

"What does that mean for the future of ASHES OF ARES? It means Matt and Freddie are continuing on. Eight songs are written, and two or three more will be finished up soon (and possibly some bonus tracks on top of that), then we can begin pre-production. So, basically, we will fully record demo versions of all the songs to appear on the album to make sure they are how we want them before recording the final versions."

Adds Van: "Maybe not the best news of the day, but not the worst... I’m writing you all today to let you know that I will be stepping down from drumming duties at ASHES OF ARES. The guys and I have discussed this for a while and we are all good. I think with all that has been going on in my/family's life this past year and juggling the bands, I didn't give my family and bands 110% of time each deserves.

"My GHOST SHIP OCTAVIUS schedule is growing more demanding of time and it’s not fair to give ASHES less than 100%, so I feel it only best that they find someone that can give their all in the current timeframe as both bands are working on new albums and planning shows at the moment.

"On a good note, my wife [who was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer in April 2015] has been doing much, much better so we are very happy to be living and taking every day as a blessing! Thank you all for supporting us through some very dark times. So, really, it's not all that bad news... ASHES OF ARES will continue and put out a great record, and you also get another cool GHOST SHIP OCTAVIUS album from me and my fellow ghouls."

ASHES OF ARES's self-titled debut album was released in September 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded in part at Morrisound Recording in Tampa, Florida with legendary producer Jim Morris (ICED EARTH, OBITUARY, JON OLIVA'S PAIN, JAG PANZER).


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