Former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza, renowned for his technical flawlessness on Megadeth masterworks Rust in Peace (1990), Countdown to Extinction (1992), Youthanasia (1994) and Cryptic Writings (1997) has passed away at the way-too-young age of 51 after collapsing onstage while playing with his band OHM: at The Baked Potato in Studio City, California last night (May 21). OHM:, Menza's band with ex-Megadeth shredder Chris Poland (Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good! (1985), Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? (1986), The System Has Failed (2004)), were three songs into their set when the distressing health situation occurred. A fan who witnessed the tragedy told Blabbermouth, "it appeared to be a seizure but [Nick] stopped breathing. Two patrons took over and began CPR until EMS arrived. EMS worked on him for 25-plus minutes, including adrenaline shots, three shocks and non-stop compressions." He was subsequently rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

In a stroke of unbelievably sad irony, Menza joined OHM: after the 2015 passing of drummer David Eagle and OHM: actually played a benefit show for Eagle at the Baked Potato back in 2015. It's been a sad year for music, and it just keeps getting sadder. RIP Nick. You raised the bar for metal drummers everywhere.

A few tributes below...

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