Guitarist/songwriter Nicolas van Dyk of the Los Angeles-based progressive metal band REDEMPTION has released the following statement regarding the passing of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW):"I lost a musical hero today, and the news has hit me harder than I thought it would. "Ronnie James Dio was one of the first concerts I saw, and 'Holy Diver' one of the first records I bought once I started liking this thing called 'heavy metal.' Over the years, I have seen him perform more than anyone else (with the exception of my friends in DREAM THEATER, given our tour together!) and the past several times I've seen him with BLACK SABBATH have been truly phenomenal. "I was hoping that Ronnie would be able to perform a guest vocal on a future REDEMPTION CD, and the vocal line I had in mind for him was an expression of triumph over cancer. Obviously, this takes on a horrible irony now. And given my own diagnosis, obviously I'm particularly attuned to what Ronnie endured. "My thoughts and prayers go out to Ronnie's family and friends. The world of heavy metal has lost its voice. "Rest in peace, Ronnie." In November 2008, Nicolas van Dyk was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which he describes as "a particularly bad form of blood cancer which is generally considered incurable and which has a five-year survival rate of 34%."