Peter Lindgren has stepped down from his guitar wielding duties after 16 years in Opeth. Below is an open letter from Peter addressing the issue:

"It is with sadness I announce that Opeth and I are going separate ways after almost 16 years. The decision has been the toughest I've ever made but it is the right one to make at this point in my life.

"The reason behind this is that I feel that I simply have lost some of the enthusiasm and inspiration needed to participate in a band that has grown from a few guys playing the music we love to a world-wide industry. The love of music has always been, and still is, our motive, but I personally have lost something along the way.

"The massive amount of touring has taken its toll. Opeth has worked extremely hard to get where we are right now and in order to persist and maintain the quality of the music, it is necessary that we continue to work hard and always stay focused. But in doing so, it means that we nowadays spend 18 or 19 months on the road and I don't feel the same enthusiasm for the upcoming world tour that I have felt earlier.

"I have come to a point where I realize I won't be able to give the band 100%, and from both sides this will not be good enough for what Opeth stands for. I will always love playing, listening to, and living music, but I will do it differently from now on.

"These years have easily been the best of my life and I will always cherish the memory of what we have experienced together. I would like to thank the band, our management, record label people, all the bands I've made friends with for everything. Most of all, I would like to thank the fans from the depth of my heart for the support throughout the years.

"I wish Mikael, Martin, Per and Axe all the best and I am confident they will continue doing the greatest music in the world!"

/Peter

Fredrik Åkesson (ex. Arch Enemy, Talisman) has been confirmed as the new guitarist in Opeth. Visit his MySpace page at: www.myspace.com/kfredrikakesson

Says Mikael Åkerfeldt: "Well, I think it's too soon right now to fully be able to explain what I feel. Peter and I had been working in this band together for almost half of our lives and we shared some unforgettable experiences together all over the world. We will obviously remain friends and this 'break up' has been on very good terms from both sides. We all wish him the best of luck with his future ventures!

"Fredrik was the only name that popped up thinking about a replacement for Peter. In my opinion he's one of the top 3 guitar players out of Sweden. We all get along great as we've known each other for maybe 4 years, plus he already has the experience to take on the circus-like lifestyle we lead as members of Opeth.

"I can't wait to see what he can bring to the table musically and also to get out on the roads touring together. His first gig will be at the Ilosaari festival in Finland. I'm sure he'll shit his pants before that one, but then again...so will I!"