Death metal band The Black Dahlia Murder has confirmed that its lead vocalist, and one of the original founding members of the group, Trevor Strnad, has died at age 41.
Brandon Ellis, Black Dahlia Murder lead guitarist, described Strnad as “a champion of the entire culture of heavy music” and an “icon and legend”.
Who was Trevor Strnad?
Strnad was the lead vocalisist of the American death metal band The Black Dahlia Murder, which was formed in 2001.
Alongside Strnad, the current lineup of the band includes rhythm guitarist Brian Eschbach, bassist Max Lavelle, drummer Alan Cassidy and lead guitarist Brandon Ellis. Former members of the band include guitarist John Deering, bassist Mike Schepman and drummer Cory Grady.
The name of the band is a reference to the 1947 unsolved murder of actress Elizabeth Short, often referred to as Black Dahlia.
In 2003, the band signed to Metal Blade Records after releasing a demo, a four track EP and appearing in concerts like Milwaukee Metal Fest.
The band released its debut full length album Unhallowed in 2003, followed by their second album Miasma in 2005 and third album Nocturnal in 2007. Over the course of the band’s career, the group have released nine studio albums - the three previously listed albums and Deflorate in 2009, Ritual in 2011, Everblack in 2013, Abysmal in 2015, Nightbringers in 2017 and their ninth studio album Verminous in 2020.
Talking to Loudwire in 2020 about the effects of the pandemic on the band and his personal life, Strnad said: “I’m seeing the world from a different angle here. I’ve never been part of this kind of thing before and it’s something that you couldn’t have predicted.
“The worst may be yet to come and we’re going to see the dark side of humanity and that’s going to have an effect on people’s lyrics, mine included.”
Strnad was in a relationship with girlfriend Violet Knox, a model and bassist for band Moon Lust.
On Instagram, Strnad’s last post, three days before his death, was a picture of himself and Knox with a black heart emoji for the caption.
When did he die?
The official Black Dahlia Murder Instagram page announced Strnad’s death on Wednesday (11 May).
The group posted a plain black image and in the caption wrote: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Trevor Scott Strnad.
“Beloved son, brother, and Shepard of good times, he was loved by all that met him. A walking encyclopaedia of all things music.
“He was a hugger, a writer and truly one of the world’s greatest entertainers. His lyrics provided the world with stories and spells and horror and whimsy. It was his life to be your show.
A cause of death has not been officially publicly revealed, however in the post confirming his death the band included the contact number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
The Black Dahlia Murder frontman was 41.
Tributes for Trevor Strnad
Following the news of Strnad’s death, fans and fellow musicians took to Twitter to post their tributes for the singer.
Brandon Ellis, Black Dahlia Murder lead guitarist, posted on Instagram a picture of the group, with the caption: “I can not even begin to process this... In total shock and disbelief. It has been my greatest honour to spend the last six and a half years in a band with this absolute icon and legend.
“A brother. A best friend. One of the funniest and most entertaining people to walk the earth.
“The life of the party that is The Black Dahlia Murder, as well as any given room he happens to occupy.
“A lyrical mastermind. A champion of the entire culture of heavy music.
“Also my biggest supporter. This man changed my life and believed in me more than I do myself.
“I can not believe there will be no more laughs had, songs written together, or stages decimated with Trevor at the helm.
“I hope he knew how much he was loved the world over.
“Rest in peace Trevor.”