The bass player of the Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish announced Tuesday he was leaving the group, citing his mental health and disillusionment with the music industry.
Nightwish, whose original members came from Kitee town close to the Finnish-Russian border, rose to international fame in the 2000s thanks to their epic compositions and the operatic vocals of classically trained singer Tarja Turunen.
“I have some reinventing to do,” Marko Hietala said in a statement on Twitter, adding: “It’s dangerous for me and the people around me if I continue.”
The 54-year-old accused music executives of squeezing artists and “unfairly sharing the profits”.
Hietala joined the group in 2001 as bassist and second vocalist, while Turunen later fell out with co-founder and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen and left the band in 2005.
Nonetheless the band’s cult status saw their 2007 album “Dark Passion Play” reach number one in six countries and make platinum in Germany.
With international sales of over nine million, Nightwish are the most successful metal export from Finland, the country which a 2012 analysis claimed has the world’s highest concentration of metal bands per capita.
Other noteworthy headbangers from the Nordic nation include HIM, Apocalyptica and Lordi, whose monster hit “Hard Rock Hallelujah” bagged Finland its first Eurovision win in 2006.
Two weeks ago Alexi Laiho, frontman of the Finnish group Children of Bodom, died aged 41 following “long-term health issues,” according to his bandmates.
The virtuoso player was named Best Metal Guitarist in 2009 by the readers of Guitar World magazine, public broadcaster YLE reported.