Arch Enemy have announced they’ve split with guitarist Jeff Loomis. The American joined the Swedish melodeath band in 2014, having established himself as a modern great across seven Nevermore albums and three solo releases.
"It’s been a joy having Jeff play with Arch Enemy for close to a decade. We truly had a blast touring around the world together,” reflected Arch Enemy guitarist and founder, Michael Amott, in a social media post.
"We were friends long before we played music together and we remain even-closer-buddies, now, which feels great. We respect that he’s in a place and time in life where he needs to step out of Arch Enemy and we all wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”
Loomis became part of a new-look Arch Enemy, with The Agonist vocalist Alissa White-Gluz brought in to replace Angela Gossow, who moved into a management role.
The pairing of Loomis and Amott was met with great excitement. Fast-forward nine years and some may be left feeling Loomis’ talents were underused across his three-album tenure, with Loomis bereft of any writing credits on those records.
"The only constant is change,” Amott adds on the band’s reasoning for the change. “This is one of those moments where things had to change a little to move forward in a satisfactory way for everyone involved.”
Loomis has also provided a short statement, saying: "My time in Arch Enemy has come to an end. I have had a great time (9 years!) of playing and touring with them, but now it’s time to enter a new chapter in my life."
Joey Concepcion has been announced as his replacement. The Connecticut-born guitarist has been playing alongside Amott’s brother, Christopher, in Armageddon since 2014, producing two albums together.
He’s also toured with Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed) and recorded with Dee Snider, Yngwie Malmsteen vocalist Michael Vescera, and death metal band, The Absence. In August 2018, he was a live stand-in for Loomis and in 2023 released his second solo album, Divine Technical Machine. Fittingly, it features a guest spot from the man whose boots he has been chosen to fill.
Says Amott: "Joey’s a phenomenal talent and has been a friend of the band for a long time, he even filled in for Jeff on a couple of European festival shows back in 2018. We have touring and a myriad of other exciting things coming up on the horizon with Arch Enemy for 2024 and beyond and are thrilled to move forward, creating the next chapter and keeping the metal flowing!”
"It’s an honour and a privilege to be working with Arch Enemy,” Concepcion adds. “I’m very much looking forward to shredding stages across the globe together, playing for and meeting all the fans!"
Save for any as-yet-unannounced festival performances, Concepcion’s second debut with the band will take place in October. The band have joined forces with fellow Swedes In Flames for a European tour, starting 3 October and winding up on 5 November.
In Flames have recently gone through a key lineup change, too, with ex-Megadeth man Chris Broderick joining for last year's acclaimed album, Foregone.
Speaking to Guitar World back in October, Björn Gelotte called his new co-guitarist a "wizard", saying that "it didn’t take him long to learn those older songs.
"As soon as we heard Chris’ name, I knew we were good," he added. "Nobody works harder or learns songs quicker. It was like I had my teacher with me every day.”
Loomis, meanwhile, remains a part of Graham Bonnet’s Alcatrazz, having joined in 2021. He follows in the footsteps of Malmsteen and Steve Vai, who were part of two of its lineups in the ‘80s. With Loomis, the outfit has released two albums together in V (2021) and Take No Prisoners (2023).