Vocalist Warrel Dane, known for fronting the bands SANCTUARY and NEVERMORE, died on Wednesday (December 13) in São Paulo, Brazil. Dane, who was in the process of making his second solo album, passed away due to a heart attack.
Guitarist Johnny Moraes, who was a member of Dane’s solo band, was with Dane around midnight when Warrel started to feel bad.
“He died in the night,” Moraes told Brazil’s UOL. “He was in the apartment where he stayed during the recording of the album when it happened. I gave him cardiac massage and we called the Mobile Emergency Care Service (SAMU), who came very fast, but when they arrived, he was already dead.”
According to Moraes, Dane had a history of addictions and health issues. “His health was already very weak because of his diabetes and his problems with alcoholism,” he said. “He was already facing a lot of health problems.”
The instrumental parts for Dane’s follow-up to 2008’s “Praises To The War Machine” solo album were almost completed and he had begun laying down his vocals shortly before his death. The musicians in his solo band are thinking about finishing the record with guest singers as a posthumous tribute, but no decision has yet been made.
SANCTUARY guitarist Lenny Rutledge reacted to the news of Warrel’s passing with a post on the band’s Facebook page. “Today I wake up to the news that Warrel Dane has died,” he wrote. “I don’t even know what to say. My friend, brother and musical companion for over 30 years has passed away. I’m in total shock right now.
“I’m sorry for any close family or friends that had to hear the news on Facebook.”
NEVERMORE split up in 2011 when guitarist Jeff Loomis and drummer Van Williams announced they were leaving the band due to personal differences with Dane and bassist Jim Sheppard. Warrel later described NEVERMORE in an interview as “the greatest band that alcohol ever ruined.”