Richard Brunelle, who was the guitarist in pioneering death metal band Morbid Angel during their early career, has died at the age of 55.
As a full-time member of Morbid Angel from 1985 through 1992, Brunelle played on the band’s first pair of records, the landmark Altars of Madness (1989) and its follow-up, Blessed Are the Sick (1991). These records were pre-dated by a handful of demos and the aborted 1986 full length, Abominations of Desolation, which was later given a proper release, all of which starred Brunelle complementing founding guitarist and lone Morbid Angel constant Trey Azagthoth.
Pete Sandoval, Morbid Angel’s drummer from 1988 through 2013, confirmed the news of his former bandmate’s passing on Instagram. Captioning an old photo of the two of them, Sandoval wrote, “This is really sad! So many great memories we shared together that I’ll never forget, hope and wish you are in a better place. My condolences to his family. A little respect guys, don’t ask me the cause of death or something like that, does it matter? He just passed away and that’s sad. Thanks.”