Richard Brunelle, a former guitarist of Florida death metal pioneers Morbid Angel, died last Monday (September 23). He was 55 years old.
Morbid Angel’s manager Gunter Ford confirmed the news to Pitchfork. “Sadly Richard has passed and was a true friend and important person to all of us,” he said.
Brunelle’s former bandmates have also taken to social media to pay tribute. “RIP #richardbrunelle,” Morbid Angel drummer Peter Sandoval wrote on Instagram, per Pitchfork (Sandoval’s account is private). “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.”
“I am beyond devastated and shocked about Richard Brunelle passing away on Monday,” former Morbid Angel drummer and vocalist Mike Browning wrote on Facebook. “We have always managed to stay friends over all these years and he was always a friend to me since 1985 and at least we managed to make the album that started it all back in 1986 [Abominations of Desolation, which was not officially released until 1991].
“I had always hoped that one day Richard, Trey [Azagthoth, founding Morbid Angel member] and I would at least get together one more time to jam, even if it was only in the back room of my house, it was then and still would have been pure Magick!”
I am beyond devastated and shocked about Richard Brunelle passing away on Monday. As of right now I only know that it…
Brunelle was in Morbid Angel from 1985 ’til his departure in 1992, playing on the landmark 1989 record Altars of Madness and its follow-up, 1991’s Blessed are the Sick. He co-founded melodic death metal outfit Paths of Possession in 1999, and released music last year with a new project, Mosaic Covenant.
RIP, Richard Brunelle. Revisit Altars of Madness below: