Lombardo has parted ways with the band over a financial disagreement just days before the festival kicks off in Brisbane.
Lombardo’s absence follows the withdrawals of Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker over a fear of flying and Charlie Benante of Anthrax due to “personal issues”.
Six Feet Under cancelled after drummer Kevin Talley was injured in a dirtbike accident, while Josh Freese has pulled out of performing with The Vandals.
Lombardo is a founding member of Slayer, performing with the thrash metal band on seven albums, including their breakthrough 1986 release Reign in Blood.
Writing on his Facebook page, the drummer claimed he was sacked after questioning a contract that sees the band earn 10 per cent of total earnings.
“Last year, I discovered 90 per cent of Slayer’s tour income was being deducted as expenses including the professional fees paid to management, costing the band millions of dollars and leaving 10 per cent or less to split amongst the four of us,” Lombardo wrote.
“In my opinion, this is not the way a band’s business should operate.”
Lombardo told fans that he was prevented from accessing accounts and that he would not be paid again until he signed a long-term contract.
Apparently things came to a head when he proposed a new business model to Slayer members Kerry King and Tom Araya during rehearsals for the Australian tour.
“Kerry made it clear he wasn’t interested in making changes and said if I wanted to argue the point, he would find another drummer,” Lombardo wrote in his Facebook post.
“On Thursday, I arrived at rehearsals at 1 pm as scheduled, but Kerry did not show. Rather, at 6:24 pm I received an email from the lawyers saying I was being replaced for the Australian dates.”
Testament drummer Jon Dette will replace Lombardo for the Soundwave dates and sideshows, having also been confirmed to fill the missing seat for Anthrax.
Slayer issued a statement regarding Lombardo’s absence, claiming he presented “an entirely new set of terms for his engagement that were contrary to those that had been previously agreed upon”.
According to the statement, the band were unable to agree on financial terms in the short time between the meeting on February 14 and the band’s Australian tour.
Lombardo has left the door open for reconciliation, saying he is “hopeful that we can resolve our issues”.
It also seems as though the “drummers’ curse” has moved on to guitarists, with hardcore punk band Gallows posting on their Facebook page that Steph Carter has departed days before the festival.
“Steph has left Gallows and we wish him the best of luck with his future projects,” the band wrote.
“We will be moving on as a four piece like the early days. First stop Australia.”