In what might likely be a major disappointment for many fans, Behemoth has announced that they have been forced to drop off of this summer’s Mayhem Fest. The band revealed the that the cancelled performance is due to drummer Inferno, who was recently hospitalized due to appendix surgery and needs time to recover.

Frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski issued the following statement on the matter:

“This must have been the most difficult decision we were forced to make in recent years. Behemoth is known for not canceling any shows or tours. But this is not something we can do when we are missing our driving force, the man behind the drums – Inferno. Unfortunately, he was hospitalized due to appendix surgery and it’s gonna take him few months to fully recover and get back to shape. We are trying to save selected European Festivals with a fill in drummer (Krimh, ex-Decapitated), but we won’t be risking doing a full-on prestigious tour like the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival without Inferno. Behemoth is a solid unit and any part of this unit missing makes us weaker, and that is not how we want to present our new material to our fans. Please, accept our apologies and be patient, we shall return to Europe (this fall) and US (early 2014) empowered and motivated as never before!”

Behemoth was one of the first bands to let their involvement in this year’s Mayhem Fest slip. And while Inferno’s health is of the utmost importance, it’s definitely unfortunate Behemoth won’t be playing the Fest (especially with a new album due out this fall). No word on whether another band will take Behemoth’s spot on the tour. This is the second time in as many years that a band has dropped off the festival, which is one of metal’s most high-profile tours. Last year at around the same time, High on Fire pulled out of the tour shortly before it began so frontman Matt Pike could go to rehab.

UPDATE: Mayhem Fest founder Kevin Lyman has informed us that they’ll be adding a replacement for Behemoth “very soon” and are putting together an announcement.