Well, Benighted is down to its final founding member, and that's vocalist Julien Truchan. Guitarist Oliver Gabriel, who has been with Benighted since its inception in 1998, has decided to step down from the group because "no longer muster the energy that it takes to keep up with the frantic rhythm of Benighted." Replacing Gabriel will be Fabien "Fack" Desgardins (Infected Society), and Gabriel doesn't make any mention of going on to form a new band.
Here's his statement in full.
"Dear friends, I have made the hard decision to close my chapter of more than 18 years with BENIGHTED. Those were pure bliss. I have made friends for life, experienced unforgettable moments with past and present members of the BENIGHTED family, and last but never least with you, the fans, label teams, producers, promoters, bookers, reporters, photographers, and many more. Sadly, I can no longer muster the energy that it takes to keep up with the frantic rhythm of BENIGHTED. We have come a long way since our first rehearsals at the Chazelles sur Lyon youth cultural centre and the living room at the place of Julien's father. We have also come a long way since our corpse paint black metal days, Bontempi keyboards, and Cradle of Filth style female vocals. It has been such a long road since Julien and I rehearsed at my parents' home with copy/pasted Cannibal Corpse lyrics and recorded demos on cassette tapes. All those years on the road gave me so much hysterical laughter, friendship, and love. As of today, all of this is over for me, but I will never forget and always be grateful. I love you all. I want to thank my family and friends for their patience, while I was away so often. These last 30 years, I have shared everything with my brother Julien, whose positive energy I admire. I wish you all the best with the band and our kickass new album! Long live BENIGHTED! See you all somewhere soon!"
Gabriel's final album with Benighted, Necrobreed, will be out on February 17 via Season of Mist.