In March earlier this year, Anders Björler shocked fans when he announced his departure from Swedish metal icons At the Gates. He was one of the band's founding members, performing on every album, but the band will soldier on without him, having named his successor while revealing that they've blocked off studio time to track their forthcoming record, due in 2018.

In a lengthy Facebook post (seen below), At the Gates stated, "We have finally decided on a new guitar player and we are ready to rip again! Actually he was our first choice and we are happy to have him on board. Jonas Stålhammar has been a friend since the late '80s (Tomas used to tape trade with him back then!) and our paths have crossed many times during our careers."

As for how the group collectively decided to move forward with Stålhammar, they added, "We were looking for someone who had the same reference points as we do, someone from the same path, so to say, who understand the greatness of both Autopsy and King Crimson. Of course it was essential that our new member could fill the shoes of Anders' performance-wise as well, but that was never an issue with Jonas. We were looking for someone with a deep understanding of what At the Gates are about, someone who could contribute creatively to the band."

Stålhammar has plenty of experience in the Swedish death metal scene. Historically, he was an early contributor to the budding genre as a member of both God Macabre and Utumno. Currently, he's active in the reunited God Macabre as well as with Bombs of Hades and The Lurking Fear. The guitarist also plays with English cinematic rock outfit Crippled Black Phoenix.

At the Gates will hit the studio between November of this year and January of 2018 with Stålhammar taking an immediate role as a contributing member in the recording process. The Swedes already have 11 songs prepared for their next slab of studio material, which will serve as the follow-up to 2014's comeback, At War With Reality.

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