Elijah Nelson, Black Breath Bass Player, Dead at 40

Elijah Nelson, best known as the bass player for Seattle death-metal stalwarts Black Breath, has died. The news was confirmed by many of the band’s friends and peers in the metal underground including Nasum, Ringworm and more. Nelson was 40 years old. Cause of death has yet to be announced.

Formed in 2005, Black Breath have three full-lengths to their name: 2010’s Heavy Breathing, 2012’s Sentenced to Life and their last album, 2015’s Slaves Beyond Death. Alongside groups like Trap Them, All Pigs Must Die and Nails, they did much to resurface the buzzsaw death-metal style identified with Nineties Stockholm, Sweden. Since the release of Slaves Beyond Death, Black Breath have been mostly inactive the past few years — their most recent show went down on December 31st in 2016.

Now-defunct Swedish grindcore veterans Nasum toured with Black Breath during the final leg of their farewell tour, and they paid tribute to Nelson via Facebook. “We are obviously saddened by the news of Elijah Nelson’s passing,” the group commented in a joint statement. “Black Breath were very important to Nasum during the final leg of the farewell tour. Elijah was the Cliff Burton of death metal and he will be missed.” Cleveland hardcore stalwarts Ringworm paid their respects, as well. “Ringworm sends nothing but light and love to you and yours brother,” the band wrote on social media. “Enlightened travels in the beyond, young wizard.”

Music artwork producers Branca Studio, meanwhile, tweeted, “We are extremely shocked. All our love goes to his family and friends, in special to the #blackbreath family. We will bang UNHOLY VIRGIN loud as we can to make sure everybody listen those bass lines.”

We at The Pit send our deepest condolences to Nelson’s friends, fans and family. Rest in peace.