A key member in Amon Amarth's history has laid down his final beat for the band. Drummer Fredrik Andersson is splitting from the band after 17 years with the group.

Andersson first appeared on 1999's The Avenger album, the group's second full-length disc. He took over behind the kit for Martin Lopez, who appeared on the band's Once Sent From the Golden Hall debut disc, which dropped in 1998.

The band revealed the news in a posting on their Facebook page. It reads as follows:

Amon Amarth and drummer Fredrik Andersson have decided to part ways after 17 years. Fredrik has been an important part of Amon Amarth’s development since he joined the band in 1998 and we wish him all the best for the future. We are currently in the process of writing the new album, but at the moment there is no replacement for him.
-Amon Amarth

Andersson also addressed his exit in his own posting. It reads as follows:

I am no longer the drummer in Amon Amarth.
We have decided to part ways and I wish them all the best in the future.
I will not answer any questions about why or how simply because it's private.
I'm finalizing the last details with the new This Ending CD, and we will look into releasing that somehow during this year, stay tuned.
I will also evaluate any future opportunities.
I want to thank everyone that I've met, both fans and business related through Amon Amarth, it's been my pleasure. It's been a long sweet ride but now it's time for something new.

As stated, Andersson will now move over to This Ending, which features Marten Hansen on vocals, Linus Nirbrant and Leo Pignon on guitar and Linus Pettersson on bass. For additional info on the band, click here.

During his tenure with Amon Amarth, Andersson laid down the heavy beats on such standout discs as With Oden on Our Side, Twilight of the Thunder God and Deceiver of the Gods. He was also a key part of the band's eye-catching live show. As stated, Amon Amarth are currently working on the follow-up to their 2013 release.