Due to what I assume is a battle with alcoholism, founding member and guitarist Jesper Strömblad of In Flames has quit the band.

Some of you may think that In Flames (or N*FLAYMZ, as they’ve been called in some circles) haven’t made anything worthwhile since 2000’s Clayman. Hell, some metal purists/elitists think their last good album was 1997’s Whoracle. Whatever your opinion of In Flames is, it sucks when the founding member of a highly influential metal band that have been around for the better part of two decades leaves the band.

Here’s the statement made by Jesper:

“I have decided it is best for me to leave In Flames and to quit the band permanently.

The last 17 years have been a blast, and I am proud to have been part of this great journey, with the most talented and amazing people anyone can wish to have the privilege to work with.

I’m also the luckiest guy in the world, to have the BEST fans in the world, who have been supporting me during my difficult times. It means the world to me, and I’m determined to fight and defeat my demons once and for all…. and by the help from you guys, I’m on my way.

I’m far from done with music, metal, or whatever my direction is taking me, so be sure to hear from me in the future.

.… May the Force be with you!” – Jesper Strömblad

And the one from the band:

“We are losing a great guitar player and musician, but in order to keep a very dear friend this is probably for the best. If this feels right for Jesper we are behind him 100% on his decision.

It is way too early to speculate about the future and possible replacements and things like that. However, we can assure you that In Flames will continue as a band, release albums and tour the world.

The door to In Flames is always open to Jesper. We are, and will always be behind Jesper 100% on his way to recovery.” – Anders, Peter, Daniel & Björn“

I think that some of you may think that any chance of going back to their roots has strolled out the door, and to be completely honest, I’m not exactly optimistic either; and I liked A Sense Of Purpose. Let’s just see what they can come up with. On any account, Jesper will be missed.

– JR

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