A lot can happen in 30 years. Since Metal Hammer exploded onto the scene in 1986, we’ve seen heard countless classic albums, witnessed the arrival of numerous future superstars and been down the front for some of the most incredible gigs in history.
But there’s a flipside to that. Since 1986, we’ve lost some of the most talented musicians ever to have walked the planet. Some, like Cliff Burton of Metallica and Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell, were taken far too soon. Others, such as Lemmy and Ronnie James Dio, lived the sort of lives and scaled the kind of heights we mere mortals can only dream of (even if that didn’t quite take the sting out of their passing).
Many of these icons leave behind towering legacies: the music of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman, Layne Staley of Alice In Chains and hugely influential Death frontman Chuck Schuldiner still resonates today. Others, such as Suicide Silence’s Mitch Lucker and Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan of Avenged Sevenfold were only just getting started.
These are just 30 of the heroes who fell during Metal Hammer’s lifetime. Raise a glass to ’em, and all the others as well…