Arsis has announced Shawn Priest as the full-time replacement for recently departed drummer, Mike VanDyne. Priest, who has toured with Arsis in the past, will be behind the kit for the Virginia melodic death metallers' upcoming fifth studio album.

Commented Priest, "After several major tours with Arsis since 2008, I am more than happy to take the position of full-time drummer. These guys have become some of my best friends and based on the new material we've been putting together, I think the new record will be one of the best and most extreme Arsis releases to date. Get stoked people."

"I am beyond thrilled with the pre-production for the new album and the addition of Shawn Priest on drums," said guitarist/vocalist, James Malone. "Shawn has done many tours for Arsis and felt we it was time to give him the respect he deserves and bring him on as the full-time drummer. Shawn's input into the new songs has made them more intense than I could have ever imagined."

Arsis is currently in the pre-production stages of its impending full-length with producer, Mark Lewis. The new record will serve as the follow-up to 2010's, Starve for the Devil (Nuclear Blast Records), with sold 1,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release, landing at #13 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart.

"I'm truly excited to be producing the new Arsis record," said Lewis. "The new material I've been hearing from James is nothing short of awesome. I'm such a huge fan of A Celebration of Guilt, as well as A Diamond for Disease, which was produced by my Audiohammer colleague, Eyal Levi. This new material sees the band come full circle and I'm so stoked they've landed here at Audiohammer. It's about time!"

The band has posted a updated pre-production version of the new track, "Choking on Sand," online to show off Priest's punishing percussionary prowess, and to give fans a glimpse of what to expect on the upcoming album.

Watch Arsis' "Forced to Rock" Video

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