California heavy rockers HIGH ON FIRE have parted ways with founding drummer Des Kensel.
Kensel announced his departure from the group in an Instagram post earlier today. He wrote: "As a founding member of HIGH ON FIRE, I feel blessed to have spent the last 21 years traveling around the world pursuing my childhood dream to write and play music. After eight albums, countless tours, and a Grammy win, I am very thankful for what we have been able to accomplish as a band.
"Being a full-time professional musician can have its challenges. One gets through those challenges with patience, hard work and perseverance.
"After much consideration, it is time for me to announce that I will no longer be performing with HIGH ON FIRE. I will now be focusing on new opportunities and spending time with my family.
"I would like to sincerely thank all of our fans for your support throughout the years. Without you, none of this would have been possible.
"Lastly, I would like to wish my band-mates the best of luck in the future."
Kensel was absent from two HIGH ON FIRE shows this past May. Filling in for him at those dates was GAYTHEIST's Nick Parks.
HIGH ON FIRE will embark on a North American fall tour with POWER TRIP. Dates kick off on November 7 at Levitation Festival, the three-day music festival held in Austin, Texas, now in its sixth year, and continue through the end of the year. Support on the tour will come from DEVIL MASTER and CREEPING DEATH.
This past January, HIGH ON FIRE was forced to cancel its U.S. tour with TOKE and YEAR OF THE COBRA due to another medical emergency suffered by the band's frontman, Matt Pike. The trek was scheduled to kick off on January 10 in Atlanta, Georgia and wrap on February 1 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
This marked the second tour HIGH ON FIRE had scrapped in less than three months. Last fall, the Oakland, California-based outfit pulled out of a trek with MUNICIPAL WASTE due to "a medical emergency culminating in the partial amputation of one of [Pike's] toes," the band said at the time.
HIGH ON FIRE was honored with a Grammy in the "Best Metal Performance" category in the pre-telecast ceremony at the 61st annual Grammy Awards, which was held on February 10 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. HIGH ON FIRE was nominated for "Electric Messiah", the title track of its 2018 album.
"Electric Messiah" was released in October via Entertainment One (eOne).
Last fall, the band completed a European co-headlining tour with ENSLAVED.
Photo credit: Jen Rosenstein