San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans EXODUS have released the following statement:

“We have recently observed a whirlwind of speculation, conspiracy theories, and just plain ole dumb-assed comments on the Internet regarding EXODUS‘ future and that of [guitarist] Gary Holt‘s commitment to this band. The following is an attempt to shed some light on actual facts, as well as trying to clear the air.

“The reason we canceled our appearance at this years Maryland Deathfest was, in fact, due to Gary‘s commitment to his sudden and seriously ill father. Actually, just days prior to the start of the Metal Alliance tour [with ANTHRAX], we were making arrangements to have someone fill in for Gary due to his unknown status. As things worked out, his father was able to recover to a somewhat stable condition, yet he is still not ‘out of the woods’ and continues to be a closely monitored. This was obviously a private and personal matter that didn’t warrant public knowledge, but it seems the press release from Maryland Deathfest and then the interview given by Gary about not quitting EXODUS was just a random coincidence and we felt it necessary to inform people of the real story.

EXODUS is not disbanding! Gary will continue to perform on the current Metal Alliance tour, as well as splitting his time between EXODUS and SLAYER in the future. The band (with Holt) will be appearing at this year’s Hell & Heaven fest in Guadalajara, Mexico, as advertised, on May 19th. After which, Gary will return home to support and care for his family.

“Our apologies to the Maryland Deathfest staff, as well as to the EXODUS fans who were eager to see us, and we hope everyone understands that family and loved ones comes first.”

Holt has spent the last two years filling in for SLAYER founding axeman Jeff Hanneman who in January 2011 contracted necrotizing fasciitis, likely caused by a spider bite, and has been undergoing surgeries, skin grafts and intense rehab since.

EXODUS‘ latest album, “Exhibit B: The Human Condition”, was released in North America on May 18, 2010 via Nuclear Blast Records.

The CD sold around 4,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 114 on The Billboard 200 chart.

EXODUS‘ previous album, “The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A”, opened with 3,600 units back in October 2007.