It was reported late last night that Type O Negative vocalist/bassist Peter Steele passed away from heart failure earlier in the day (April 14). While at first there was no official statement released by the band’s management or any other close sources, many close friends have revealed the rumors to be true.
Fuse TV’s Mistress Juliya stated via Twitter that Steele “past of heart failure today. Just spoke to Kenny” (referring to Type O Negative guitarist Kenny Hickey). Revolver Magazine’s editor-in-chief Brandon Geist revealed similar news on his Twitter page, saying “Hoping [the rumors] are not true, but the source is good.” In 2005, Steele joked of his death by posting a picture of a tombstone that read “Peter Steele – 1962 – 2005 …. Free At Last” on the band’s website. However, Type O Negative keyboardist Josh Silver has confirmed to Blabbermouth.net early this morning that Steele has passed away, though an official cause of death has not yet been released. Steele, born Petrus T. Ratajczyk, was 48 years.
Though Steele played in metal groups like Fallout and Carnivore, he was best known for his role in Type O Negative. Formed in 1990, the Brooklyn band became a heavy contributor to the gothic metal genre, mixing thrash and doom metal to create a unique sound. Their sophomore album, Bloody Kisses, was the first album for Roadrunner Records to go platinum, with the single “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)” gaining an enormous amount of radio airplay. Their most recent album, Dead Again, was released in 2007 and debuted at #27 on the Billboard charts. Steele’s low bass heavy voice was one of the key attributes to the band’s dark sound that helped further define goth metal.
We will keep you updated when more information is revealed.
Update: Type O Negative’s manager Mike Renault has confirmed to CBS News that Steele has passed away most likely due to heart failure. Steele’s Type O Negative band mates and family have also released official statements.