Waltteri Väyrynen announced his departure from Paradise Lost yesterday, though he's clearly not out of work. Opeth has announced Väyrynen as their new full-time drummer, replacing drummer Martin Axenrot who left the band in 2021. In their statement, Opeth also thanks drummer Sami Karppinen (Therion) for taking over the live reins as they searched for a new and permanent replacement.
Opeth notes Väyrynen will play his first show with the band in Tallinn/Estonia on September 14.
"We just had our first rehearsal with Walt yesterday and it went incredibly well!" said Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt. "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 are certainly up for plenty of air-drum moments connected to their favourite Opeth songs. Walt has got it down, to put it mildly.
"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!"