German thrash metal veterans SODOM have recruited Toni Merkel as their new drummer. He joins the band as the replacement for Stefan "Husky" Hüskens, who announced his departure from SODOM earlier in the month.
Says the group: "Flying under the radar for a long time, it's a dream coming true for [Toni]. Brace yourself to get your face smashed by his awesome drumming!"
Added Toni: "I am very proud to anounce that I am the new SODOM drummer and really looking forward to work and rehearse with these awesome guys for the next album and live shows. See you soon!!!"
In a statement explaining his exit from SODOM, Hüskens said that "some changes" at his full-time job, "as well as a few other matters," were to blame for his decision to leave.
This past November, SODOM released a new EP, "Out Of The Frontline Trench", via SPV/Steamhammer. The effort contained three brand new tracks as well as new recordings (studio and live) of two SODOM classics.
Joining frontman Thomas "Angelripper" Such on the EP were guitarists Frank "Blackfire" Gosdzik (also formerly of KREATOR, ASSASSIN) and Yorck Segatz (BEYONDITION) plus Hüskens.
Blackfire previously played with SODOM on the seminal albums "Persecution Mania", "Mortal Way Of Live" and "Agent Orange".
Former SODOM guitarist Bernd "Bernemann" Kost and drummer Markus "Makka" Freiwald released a joint statement in January 2018 claiming that they were fired from the band by Tom via messaging platform WhatsApp even before Tom had a chance to hear any of the material the duo had been working on for the group's next album.
Photo by Moritz "Mumpi" Künster