Guitarist Stefan Leibing has announced his departure from German power metallers PRIMAL FEAR. His statement reads as follows:
"Dear PRIMAL FEAR fans, after 10 years being in PRIMAL FEAR I have decided to take a time out from the music business for some time. I do this for my family, especially for my two little sons, who deserve to have more time together with their father. Of course, this is no easy decision, even if I know this is the right one. I leave the guys from PRIMAL FEAR in friendship and want to thank them at this point for their understanding and supporting me in this decision. I also want to thank you fans for a wonderful time during the last years! I say good-bye to you, having in mind, that this will NOT be a goodbye forever!"
The remaining members of PRIMAL FEAR add: "Well, it's hard to see the curtain fall for a friend and a great player after ten years standing side by side. We have all respect for Stefan's decision. We were realizing the problems he went through the entire last year. He will be missed as a character and a great guitar player. There's an open door for Stefan in PRIMAL FEAR and we're working on the possibility that Stefan will contribute a typical Stefan-style song to our forthcoming album! Good luck, Stefan, to you and your family! We will announce our new guitar player tomorrow!"
PRIMAL FEAR's new album, "New Religion", last year landed on the Swedish chart at No. 67. It also entered the German chart at No. 60. "[This is] the [PRIMAL FEAR's] highest chart entry since 'Black Sun' in 2002," according to the band.
"New Religion" was released in the U.S. on January 29 via Locomotive/Ryko. Guest musicians on the album include Magnus Karlsson (STARBREAKER, ALLEN/LANDE),Kai Hansen (GAMMA RAY, ex-HELLOWEEN) and Simone Simons (EPICA).