Benante, who is battling carpal tunnel syndrome, will temporarily be replaced by former Slayer and Testament star Jon Dette.

Announcing the news in a statement on Thursday (23Apr15), the drummer writes: "This was a difficult decision to make, especially as I had to miss dates on the last cycle because of my hand surgery. But the fact is, playing a show five or more times a week just isn't realistic right now. I found that out when we were making our new album, and I don't want to let the fans down by not being able to give it everything I have at every show.

"I was driving the other day and my hand went numb, so unfortunately, it's just not 100 per cent yet. I figure I can play for maybe three weeks at a time, but then I have to let it rest."

He adds, "The guys in the band have been incredibly understanding and supportive, and I hope the fans will be as well. The positive side is that I plan to use the time off the road constructively and focus on our upcoming album, continue to work on the package artwork and develop a number of other ideas I've got for the campaign."

Benante plans to be back onstage with Anthrax for the group's Rock On The Range festival show in Ohio on 17 May (15).