Anthrax started 2013 by sending shock waves through the heavy metal community with the announcement that one of the members of the band is leaving.

Anthrax Announces that Guitarist Rob Caggiano will be leaving
Theo Wargo/Getty Images


According to Loudwire, lead guitarist Rob Caggiano had left the metal thrashers to pursue work as a producer.

The news comes as quite a shock considering the band's current lineup featuring Caggiano, guitarist Scott Ian, drummer Charlie Benante, Singer Joey Belladonna and bass player Frank Bello have enjoyed much success over the past couple of years after being on tour as part of the 'Big 4' and celebrating their highly regarded latest album, 'Worship Music.'

Caggiano has been with the NYC thrashers since 2001, only taking a break from them when the band reunited with their lineup from the 'Among the Living' album for a brief stint in 2005.

Caggiano released the following statement regarding his departure from the band:

I’m extremely proud of my time in Anthrax. Actually, that’s an understatement! We accomplished so many great things together over the years and I shared some of the best times of my life with these guys. As a band, we also weathered quite a few storms along the way. It’s been a wild ride (to say the least) from Day One and I wouldn’t change one single thing about the last 12 years. This is an extremely difficult and emotional decision for me to make but my heart is just steering me in a different direction right now. I’ve always been one to follow my heart in everything that I do and while this might be one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, it feels like the right one for me at this time. Scott, Charlie, Joey, Frankie (and John Bush) will always be part of my family and this decision doesn’t change the way I feel about that in the slightest. I would also like to say thanks to all the amazing fans I’ve met and hung out with worldwide over the years. You guys always were and always will be the reason why I make music! In this day and age, being a musician isn’t always easy -also an understatement- but the fans truly make it worthwhile for me. I hope to see each and every one of you again really soon. The fact that Anthrax is at the top of their game right now and totally ‘out for blood’ after all these years is a testament to this band’s longevity and conviction! I’m truly honored to have been a part of their brilliant legacy.


As for Anthrax, they released their own statement regarding their lead guitar player:

Rob has been an integral part of Anthrax for so many years, as our lead guitarist, in a production capacity, but most of all, as our close friend. His contributions to the band have been enormous. While we are sad that he is leaving, we wish him nothing but great success going forward, and hope to share the stage with him again sometime down the road.

With the Metal Alliance Tour on the horizon, we have been considering several lead guitarist options, and will be making an announcement on that shortly.

At least the parting ended on a good note and it is anybody's guess who the band will bring in to replace Rob Caggiano.

Here's a video for the song 'The Devil You Know,' from the band's latest album 'Worship Music.'


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