Black metal pioneer Tony ‘IT’ Sarkka dies aged 45

Tony ‘IT’ Sarkka: 1972-2017
Tony \u2018IT\u2019 Sarkka: 1972-2017

Swedish black metal pioneer Tony ‘IT’ Sarkka has died at the age of 45.

The news was confirmed by his sister and manager Desire on the multi-instrumentalist’s Facebook page.

She says: “It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the sad news that my dear brother and soulmate, to you known as IT, left his long journey on Mother Earth.

“He will forever be with us in heart and mind, as the great thinker, philosopher and genius he was. IT was truly a unique character and those of us who got the privilege to meet and know him in person can consider ourselves lucky.

“I will try to keep his legacy on this page, but please feel free to help me out. He will never be forgotten. I love you forever.”

Sarkka played in a variety of black metal projects including Abuptum, Ophthalamia, Incision, Vondur, Brejn Dedd, War and 8th Sin. He sang and played drums, guitar and bass and provided guest vocals on Dissection’s 1995 album Storm Of The Light’s Bane.

8th Sin’s Michael Bohlin paid tribute to his friend, saying Sarkka had been like a brother to him.

Bohlin says: “Tony was a unique character and held a deep philosophic view on life nowhere near anyone else I’ve met. He was like a brother to me for almost 30 years.

“We wrote songs together, played together, he slept on my couch in his teens, we were camping together, we were fishing together, played chess together, painted our house together, partying together – I even tried to teach him how to drive a car. That never worked out well though.

“We experienced so much together and had a big influence on each others lives. He will always live in my heart forever. I know that he now finally got his sought-after peace. Sleep tight brother, darkness it shall be.”

No cause of death has been revealed.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.