After 21 years, High on Fire's founder and drummer Des Kensel is leaving the band.
Kensel shared the news Instagram on Thursday (July 25): "I feel blessed to have spent the last 21 years traveling around the world pursuing my childhood dream to write and play music. After eight albums, countless tours, and a Grammy win, I am very thankful for what we have been able to accomplish as a band."
"Being a full time professional musician can have its challenges. One gets through those challenges with patience, hard work and perseverance. After much consideration, it is time for me to announce that I will no longer be performing with High On Fire. I will now be focusing on new opportunities and spending time with my family."
"I would like to sincerely thank all of our fans for your support throughout the years. Without you, none of this would have been possible. Lastly, I would like to wish my band-mates the best of luck in the future."
While Kensel does not specifically detail why he is leaving, the news comes after he was absent from two of the band's shows in May (Gaytheist's Nick Parks filled in for him).
High on Fire has yet to release their own statement, however they recently announced a tour with Power Trip, Devil Master, and Creeping Death, which kicks off in Nov. They're also on the Psycho Las Vegas lineup for August. Their last two tours were cancelled due to frontman Matt Pike's medical issues.
Find Kensel's full statement below.