Frank 'Killyjoy' Pucci, founder and vocalist of pioneering U.S. death metal act Necrophagia, has passed away at the age of 48.

Formed in 1983, Necrophagia released a total of seven studio albums with Killjoy remaining the lone constant of the group. They were among the earliest to adopt horror themes to round out their sonic evisceration and the Season of the Dead debut helped distance the burgeoning new death metal sound from its thrash roots. Killjoy also possessed one of the more unique voices in death metal, opting for gurgled, mid-range wretches instead of the typical death growl, which aided the themes of horror and gore.

Necrophagia got a bump in 1998 when they reunited after 11 years of inactivity with Pantera legend Philip Anselmo in their ranks. Anselmo stepped away from his typical frontman role, brandishing a guitar instead on the band's comeback album, Holocausto de la Morte. Anselmo, who went under the pseudonym 'Anton Crowley,' would remain a member of the group until 2001.

Killjoy and Anselmo also worked together on the pair of black metal records released under the Viking Crown moniker. The Necrophagia constant released 11 full length albums in total outside of his primary band, having also been a member of Haxxan, Cabal, Hidden, Wurdulak, The Ravenous and Killjoy.

The band posted the following statement on Facebook:

Loudwire extends our condolences to Killjoy's family, friends and bandmates. R.I.P. and thanks for all of the music.

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