Virginia melodic death metal veteran, Arsis, has announced Shawn Priest as the full-time replacement for recently departed drummer, Mike VanDyne. Priest, who has toured with Arsis in the past, will be behind the kit for the band’s upcoming fifth studio album.

Commented Priest, “After several major tours with Arsis since 2008, I am more than happy to take the position of full-time drummer. These guys have become some of my best friends and based on the new material we've been putting together, I think the new record will be one of the best and most extreme Arsis releases to date. Get stoked people.”

“I am beyond thrilled with the pre-production for the new album and the addition of Shawn Priest on drums,” said guitarist/vocalist, James Malone. “Shawn has done many tours for Arsis and felt we it was time to give him the respect he deserves and bring him on as the full-time drummer. Shawn's input into the new songs has made them more intense than I could have ever imagined.”

“We weren't looking for a drummer who robotically plays a thousand miles an hour,” added bassist, Noah Martin. “Anyone who's seen us with Shawn knows he's capable of playing pretty much anything, but with tremendous feel. We've put him through hell, hiring him to fill in on multiple tours over the years, and we're glad we can welcome him to the fold.

“That being said, we understand and respect the decision Mike made, given the circumstances. I know I speak for all of us when I say it wasn't necessarily an easy one to make. His involvement helped get the band to where it is today, and we'll always miss playing with him.

“We have nine songs so far that we're continuing to tweak, and still tossing around ideas forcover tunes. We hope to create a pivotal album that sums up everything that Arsis was, is and will be.”

Arsis is currently in the pre-production stages of its impending full-length with producer, Mark Lewis. The new record will serve as the follow-up to 2010’s, Starve For The Devil (Nuclear Blast Records), with sold 1,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release, landing at #13 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart.

“I’m truly excited to be producing the new Arsis record,” said Lewis. “The new material I've been hearing from James is nothing short of awesome. I’m such a huge fan of A Celebration of Guilt, as well as A Diamond For Disease, which was produced by my Audiohammer colleague, Eyal Levi. This new material sees the band come full circle and I’m so stoked they've landed here at Audiohammer. It’s about time!”

The band has posted a updated pre-production version of the new track, “Choking On Sand,” online: to show off Priest’s punishing percussionary prowess, and to give fans a glimpse of what to expect on the upcoming album.

“I feel it is safe to say that this is going to be the most brutal Arsis album to date,” added Malone. “So excited!”

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