Black Dahlia Murder Vocalist Trevor Strnad Dead at 41

Heavy Montreal Festival - Credit: Getty Images
Heavy Montreal Festival - Credit: Getty Images

Trevor Strnad, founding lead vocalist of the melodic death metal band the Black Dahlia Murder, has died at the age of 41.

Strnad’s bandmates confirmed his death Wednesday on social media. No cause of death was provided, but the surviving members shared the contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Trevor Scott Strnad,” the Black Dahlia Murder said in a statement. “Beloved son, brother, and Shepard of good times, he was loved by all that met him. A walking encyclopedia 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.”

The Michigan-based metal act — named after the infamous 1947 unsolved murder of actress Elizabeth Smart — formed in 2000. Following a string of independent EPs, the group signed with their longtime label Metal Blade Records, which released all nine of the Black Dahlia Murder’s studio albums, including their most recent LP, 2020’s Verminous. Metal Blade Records also confirmed Strnad’s death Wednesday.

As news of Strnad’s death spread, numerous figures in the metal community shared tributes to the vocalist on social media Wednesday.

“I can not even begin to process this… In total shock and disbelief,” Black Dahlia murder guitarist Brandon Ellis wrote on Instagram. “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.”

“Trevor believed in us early on when not many people did, his band took us on our first full US tour,” Connecticut deathcore outfit Shadow of Intent wrote in a Facebook post. “He loved music so much and undoubtedly left a huge legacy on metal as a whole.” Popular Brooklyn-based metal bar and venue Saint Vitus also shared a tribute to Strnad on Twitter, writing, “It’s difficult to overstate what Trevor meant to metal and how much his presence will be missed.”

The death metal band had plans to tour later this year at the time of Strnad’s death, including a May 20 show as part of Daytona Beach, Florida’s Welcome to Rockville Festival.

This story was updated 5/12/2022 at 4:33 a.m. to add reactions to Strnad’s death.

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