Sad news hit the metal world today, as Warrel Dane, singer of Sanctuary and Nevermore, passed away at the age of 48, apparently from a heart attack.

Warrel burst onto the metal scene in 1988 with Sanctuary’s well-regarded debut, Refuge Denied. His powerful voice, unbelievable range and larger-than-life persona made him one of metal’s most intriguing characters and the flag bearer for the next wave of classic metal.

It was with his second band, Nevermore that Warrel achieved major metal notoriety, taking the traditional style of Sanctuary in more progressive, thoughtful directions. Albums like Dead Heart in a Dead World and This Godless Endeavor blazed exciting and new trails and became the influence for the countless progressive metal acts that followed.

Making things even more depressing, Warrel was working on his first solo album in 10 years at the time of his passing. Whether this material will ever see the light of day is anyone’s guess at this point.

Godspeed, Warrel. We thank you for your voice and the music you gave us over your 3-plus decades in the metal music business. Rest in peace, friend.

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