Guitarist Ralph Santolla, a former member of Deicide and Obituary, has passed away at the age of 48. Santolla had been in a coma following a heart attack on Tuesday, May 29th. His mother issued the following statement regarding his passing:
“Good morning. Just so we all start to heal, Ralph Santolla is not laying on that bed at St. Joseph Hospital. He has gone, and he is happy and at peace in heaven. I want to start your day with a little humor. My wonderful mother and Ralph’s grandmother passed away three years ago. One of my friends was trying to console me, Fred Parker, and had the comment that Ralph would be playing music for his Nannie..it just made me laugh to visualize Ralph playing heavy metal for his Nannie. OMG….it would be so funny… His Nannie was an amazingly strong woman and she would tell him, cut it down, and play something decent. I love my son more than anyone can imagine, my heart is broken..but I know he loved me unconditionally and will always be with me. It is the same with all of us, he will be with you everyone, everyday and his love will surround us now and forever.i wanted to tell everyone that I have thousands of messages…I just can’t deal with it right now but I love each of you.”
Apart from his work with Deicide and Obituary and solo work, Santolla contributed to Iced Earth’s The Glorious Burden, Gary Hughes’ Precious, and toured with Death.