Mercyful Fate on Tuesday announced they had decided to part ways with bassist Joey Vera, who had been performing in the reunited heavy metal band for the last five years. Saying the decision was mutual, Mercyful Fate lead vocalist and bandleader King Diamond offered a brief statement.

Last year, Vera, who also plays in Armored Saint and Fates Warning, didn't participate in Mercyful Fate's first North American tour in 23 years because of a scheduling conflict. He was replaced on the road by bassist Becky Baldwin.

See the band's update below.

In 2019, Vera took over on bass for late Mercyful Fate co-founder Timi Hansen when the influential group reunited. It's currently unclear who will play bass in Mercyful Fate going forward.

READ MORE: Mercyful Fate Albums Ranked

"Mercyful Fate and Joey Vera have mutually decided to split ways," the band said on Tuesday.

King Diamond said, "Our friendship and respect for each other will always remain the same, and we all sincerely wish each other the absolute best for the future."

Initially upon their reformation, Vera was meant to fill in for Hansen, who had been battling cancer, but became Mercyful Fate's full-time bassist after Hansen's death in November 2019. The band's reunion tour got underway in Hanover, Germany in 2022, with the group playing their first live show since 1999.

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