Opeth have officially welcomed drummer Waltteri Väyrynen (ex-Paradise Lost) to the band. He will be replacing Martin Axenrot, who exited the group last year.
Opeth issued the following statement:
“We are pleased to announce that the new drummer in Opeth is no other than Waltteri Väyrynen (Paradise Lost, Bloodbath, Bodom After Midnight). Walt will take on his duties effective immediately and will play his first show with the band in Tallinn/Estonia on September 14, 2022. He will replace stand-in drummer Sami Karppinen who has been the temporary replacement for Martin Axenrot since the fall of 2021.
The band are currently in rehearsals for the upcoming tour.”
Mikael Åkerfeldt added:
”We just had our first rehearsal with Walt yesterday and it went incredibly well! We were all very nervous beforehand, but Waltteri completely killed it! Pure delivery! We went through 16 songs (!) from start to finish and didn’t have a single correctional comment.
It’s quite remarkable! I was astounded, and so were the rest of the band. He has everything, really. From the required laid-back sensitivity an Opeth drummer needs, via the classic rock, prog rock, metal grooves and onwards to downright mega-intricate technical virtuosity.
On top of that, he knows the songs extremely well (already) both from the recorded versions as well as the sometimes modified live versions. We were hearing drum rolls and beats that we hadn’t heard since the songs were recorded. The audience is certainly up for plenty of air-drum moments connected to their favourite Opeth songs. Walt has got it down, to put it mildly.
On top of everything, Waltteri is an awesome bloke. Genuine. Super nice. Funny. And young! He was born the same year we recorded our debut album, ”Orchid”. Imagine that!
We very much look forward to going on the road together with him. Create new music together. Play all over the world. And to provide a musical future together with us. This is no small feat for a band 32 years of age. I’m very, very excited about him joining us, and I hope that our audience will embrace him with open arms.
I’d also want to take this opportunity to thank Sami for saving our asses when we most needed saving. If it hadn’t been for his efforts, friendship and care we’d probably been ”on ice” as we speak. We’re furthermore happy to keep Sami as part of the Opeth family. His contribution to Opeth is beyond words, and he’ll continue to help make our performances as good as possible. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, Sami!
Mikael Åkerfeldt, September 2022″