Re: Martin Lopez
As far as I know, Martin Lopez is alive (... and well). I'm a drummer from Uruguay, just like him (but not that good :P) and he was here recently so... he should be fine.
Now, as a drummer, to me his very inspirational and I'm really digging his excellent chops and grooves. Of course, I like Opeth as a whole band, not just the drum parts.
I didn't have the chance to listen to their latest work yet, but I've heard Axenrot is very good.
Something for me to add is that Lopez really has many influences from the musical culture from Uruguay and I believe that really gave him a distinguished touch as a drummer.