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It’s barely been more than a week since the tragic passing of StaticX’s, Wayne Static, and there’s already more tragic news in the metal world. Black Tusk’s bassist/vocalist has passed away after being placed in critical condition from a motorcycle accident. He and his girlfriend were driving around Savannah when they hit the side door of an 85-year-old man’s Acura who had ran a stop-sign in front of them, and there was no way to avoid the collision. His girlfriend was coherent and recovering, while he was placed into a medically induced coma by doctors in order to monitor his injuries. It was later discovered that he had suffered irreparable brain damage from the accident, and was pulled off of life support. The full quote from his publicist read

“It is with deep regret and saddened hearts that we must tell you that Athon passed away this morning from injuries sustained from his motorcycle accident. Doctors told us that he suffered irreparable brain damage shortly after the accident. He has been in a coma and sustained by life support until now. As per his wishes, we removed Athon from his life support systems and his organs will be donated. His body will be cremated and a memorial is being planned for family and friends in Savannah. He was 32 years old and will be forever missed. Thank you all for your support during this devastating time for us, it would have made him proud.”

Many people have come forward to pay their respects to the fallen artist, including a fellow Georgian, John Baizley of Baroness, who also did a lot of artwork for the band. He wrote on his website:

“I have always loved Athon (and the rest of Black Tusk) very dearly. In recent years I haven’t gotten to see him nearly as much I would have liked, touring, living in a different city and generally being an antisocial-art-hermit. However, I hold the collaborations I’ve done with these guys very close within my heart. They have always been my absolute favorite band to work with on every level; and I’ll proudly admit they have helped me to make some of the best work I have done, thanks very much to the conceptual efforts of Athon, who stands alone as the only musician I’ve worked with who truly understood how to articulate a fully-realized artistic concept in such a way that I was able to interpret it in my own style without losing the band’s direction. I can be a pain in the ass to work with, and I cannot thank Athon, James and Andrew enough for letting me work on so many of their albums. 'Passage' was the first big record they did for Relapse, and I was incredibly proud of how this whole thing came together. These guys were slightly younger than us, but they kept us all on our toes with their practice regimen, commitment and output. They had no laurels to rest on, nobody to fund them and no bevy of managers, agents and press agents looking out for them. They worked for it themsleves, and they earned it. When this record came out, it seemed like you couldn’t go two weeks in Savannah without seeing Black Tusk onstage at the Jinx. The combination of those three guys’ personalities made a strangely fantastic formula for an absurd amount of fun. They fought hard to get ahead, and I always believed that it was due to the overwhelming excitement, positivity and unabashed love of loud rock that kept not only the band, but the rest of us going through the good times and the bad. I relish those sweltering days, those wild nights, the audience heckling, the freely flowing drinks and the good times that just wouldn’t quit. I miss you athon.”

He also offered a very nice sentiment on Baroness’ Facebook page that you can read HERE

We’ve lost many artists this year already, and even more so in the past few weeks. We can only hope that this trend will stop immediately.

Photo Courtesy of Facebook