When former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza collapsed onstage this past Saturday in Los Angeles three songs into his set with Ohm (a band also featuring former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland), some had assumed that he’d suffered a heart attack. Yesterday, news came out that the drummer’s death wasn’t drug related, and today his official cause of death has been released. It turns out that it was indeed heart-related. His official cause of death is listed as “hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.” Atherosclerosis is a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which can be brought on by high blood pressure, smoking or high cholesterol.
Menza was pronounced dead at the hospital he was taken to. He was 51. Megadeth and Menza’s publicist have announced that there will be a benefit show featuring former and current Megadeth members to help his wife and children.