RUSHONROCK approved battle metal heroes Turisas will release their new record next summer despite the loss of rhythm kings Tuomas Lehtonen and Jukka-Pekka Miettinen.

The band’s long-serving drummer and experienced bass player will leave the feisty Finns following a farewell show on New Year’s Eve in Helsinki.

But their replacements are already on board and the band will wrap up the follow-up to 2011’s Stand Up And Fight in January.

Lehtonen said: “I can’t tell you how hard it feels to step away from the path we’ve been walking together for the last 15 years – and to start a new era in my life without the band. 

“There are many reasons for me to quit the band. The stress from the years spent on the road and different artistic visions have lead to a mutual decision for me to step back and hand over the drumsticks to the next guy.

“In any case, it has been a great experience and all the memories from being on the road are something that I will always cherish. The biggest thanks go to all of the past and present members of the band, not to forget all the technicians and fellow drummers I’ve met on shows and on tour – and, of course, especially to all the fans that have allowed us to grow to the level that Turisas are at today.

“Good luck and lots of success to all my bandmates – I feel that I will never be straying too far away from the band. I shall always be proudly carrying the heart of Turisas wherever I go. The man can leave the band but the band will never really leave the man. Battle Metal!”

Miettinen will part ways with the band as he needs to focus on his own musical projects but the band is at pains to point out that ‘the relationship with both members remains friendly and amicable’.

New drummer Jaakko Jakku has already started recording drum parts for the upcoming album and the bass duties will be taken care of by Jesper Anastasiadis.