Death has always been one of the most predominant themes in heavy metal music, taking a backseat maybe only to Satanism. Death, disease, murder and chaos have accompanied heavy riffs since Sabbath first began playing them back in '68. This dark subject matter is part of what has always made metal controversial -- revolting to some, but appealing to those musicians interested in facing the things we all fear. But there's often a strange irony that comes into play when we have to realize that these musicians are also human beings, capable of falling victim to the very horrors they seem to embrace.
Disclaimer: In no way do I intend to make light of these deaths. Many of these musicians were heroes of mine and died far too early. Also, one that might seem like an obvious choice, Dimebag Darrell's death, will not be included here. Getting shot and killed for no reason is a hip-hop way to die, not a metal one.