Former Sacred Reich guitarist and the band’s founding member Jason Rainey has died at the age of 53.
The news was confirmed by the band, who report Rainey died after suffering a heart attack.
Sacred Reich say in a statement: “It is with deep sadness and broken hearts that we must announce that our friend, guitarist and founding member of Sacred Reich, Jason Rainey has passed away.
“Jason started the band after only playing guitar for six months. With sheer determination and will, he led us through the early years of the band. He worked tirelessly. Sacred Reich was his life.
“In recent years he faced some serious medical issues. He ultimately succumbed to a heart attack on Monday, March 16. He was 53 years old. Jason, we wish you peace and love.”
Rainey played on Sacred Reich’s debut album Ignorance in 1987 and went on to appear on 1990’s The American Way, 1993’s Independent and 1996’s Heal.
Rainey was replaced in the lineup by guitarist Joey Radziwill before their 2019 comeback album Awakening was recorded.
Explaining Rainey’s departure from the band with Sonic Perspectives last year, Sacred Reich frontman Phil Rind said: "Unfortunately, Jason just physically… there's some stuff going on with him.
“He just wasn't going to be able to do it. We tried everything we could. We all tried. It just became apparent he wasn't going to be able to be up to it and be able to come through for us. It's really sad. It's a real heartbreaking thing.
"Jason started the band. He and I did so much together, and I'm probably closer to him than anybody else on the whole planet. When it became apparent, I cried for two days straight. It was heartbreaking.”