One of death metal’s pioneering vocalists has passed away today. Frank “Killjoy” Pucci of Necrophagia died this morning as revealed on the band’s Facebook page. One of the original tape traders of death metal, Killjoy’s legendary vocals on the phenomenal Season of the Dead album (which predated Death’s Scream Bloody Gore by several months) paved the wave for the death/black metal technique and inspired some of the greatest artists in metal.
Killjoy’s career was unprecedented in metal music. After creating some of the first death metal the world would ever hear and a fantastic debut album, Killjoy’s Necrophagia disbanded in 1987 despite an unreleased album (recorded before Season of the Dead) also being bootlegged and released in 1990. In spite of this, Necrophagia stayed disbanded for 10 years and Killjoy’s career appeared to have been dead and buried.
But out of nowhere, an extraordinary happening would befall Killjoy in 1998. In an astronomical turn of events, immensely popular mainstream metal singer Phil Anselmo of the red-hot Pantera not only revealed himself to be a massive fan of Necrophagia but actually approached Killjoy with a prospective album completely written. Suddenly, a dead band rotting in the depths of the underground had a superstar guitar player and massive financial/label backing behind it. Killjoy and Necrophagia went on to release 5 more albums, shoot several campy horror-themed music videos, and spend the next 20 years playing death metal shows. His friendship with Anselmo also led to two interesting (but ultimately lackluster) black metal side projects in Viking Crown and Wardulak.
Next time you grab a drink, be sure to raise a toast to the death metal legend Killjoy and relive his greatest work below: