Morten Stützer, guitarist and founding member of Danish thrash metal veterans ARTILLERY, has died. He was only 57 years old.
The surviving members of the band broke the news of Morten's passing in a Facebook post earlier today. They wrote: "Dear loyal friends and fans, it is with a heavy heart, a great deal of shock and a lot of disbelief that we have inform you that founding member, friend and brother Morten Stützer, no longer is with us. He passed away at the way-too-early age of 57 on the evening of October 2nd. He was surrounded by his family.
"We are absolutely devastated. Morten's contributions to the band has been invaluable. Besides his incredible musicianship, Morten's knowledge on so many aspects of life as well as his witty way of being will be so sorely missed. One thing that is not to forgotten however, is the legacy that Morten has left behind in this world.
"Morten's contributions and work in music has brought so much joy and entertainment to so many people throughout the world — and will continue to do so for generations to come. In this fact, we find a great deal of comfort.
"Needless to say, this will NOT be the end of ARTILLERY. In Morten's spirit, and as an ode to Morten, ARTILLERY will soldier on.
"Morten will be missed, but never forgotten.
ARTILLERY singer Michael Bastholm Dahl told The Metal Voice that "Morton's health had been declining for quite a few years. That's why he wasn't out touring with us," he explained (see video below). "He did the odd gig once in a while and showed up at the gigs as well so he could say hi, but physically, he didn't feel like it. He had all sorts of ailments — he had a heart defibrillator installed too. He was in danger of having blood clots, so he had some blood thinner medicine too. I think that when he found out — I think it was last Tuesday — [that] all of a sudden, he couldn't see on one of his eyes. And that was something that he had been struggling with before. That was also one of the reasons why he disliked playing live at the end, because couldn't really see the guitar properly. So he was rushed to the hospital, but at that time, apparently, it seemed like too much time had passed by. I know that it went pretty quick from there on."
Back in the 1980s, ARTILLERY was one of the biggest European thrash sensations on the scene, characterized by intense, energetic riffing and unique vocals of Flemming Ronsdorf. Their debut album, "Fear Of Tomorrow" and the follow-up, "Terror Squad", have gained a legendary status, becoming some of the most thrilling thrash releases of the late '80s period. In 1999, ARTILLERY reformed and released "B.A.C.K.", produced by Andy Sneap, which was hailed immediately as a return to form.
ARTILLERY's most recent album, "The Face Of Fear", came out in 2018.