When Fear Factory announced that Matt DeVries (ex-Chimaira/ Six Feet Under) had replaced longtime bassist Byron Stroud, it had us question whether or not Gene Hoglan was still in the group as well. While he may still appear on their new album The Industrialist (due out on June 5 via Candlelight Records), it now turns out that Hoglan will definitely not be joining Fear Factory on the road this Spring.

The “Atomic Clock” confirmed that he would not be touring with Fear Factory this Spring with the following statement:

“I’m sure whomever they get [to play the drums on the run] is gonna kick some ass, absolutely! I’d like to wish them the best on the tour, and I’m sure everyone’s gonna make out just fine.”

While it’s definitely a shame that he’ll be missing from the Spring tour (with Shadows Fall, The Browning, The Devastated, and Legacy Of Disorder), we can’t say that we’re too surprised. Not only has he been keeping busy with Testament as of late, but he’s also been working with Metalocalypse co-creator/ Dethklok bandmate Brendon Small on his Galaktikon project.

However, this still leaves lots of questions left unanswered. For one, it’s unclear whether Hoglan is sitting out for just this tour or is bowing out for good. Furthermore, could this be a big hint that Hoglan has joined Testament as a permanent member? Frontman Chuck Billy made it pretty clear that Hoglan was their first choice to replace Paul Bostaph. Could Testament have finally made him an offer to stay in the band? Of course, there’s a chance that he could end up remaining in both bands. However, that’s what we thought would happen when Byron Stroud joined 3 Inches Of Blood, and look what happened.

Whatever the situation actually is, one thing is for sure: whoever plays drums on Fear Factory’s upcoming tour has some mighty big shoes to fill.