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Daath’s Eyal Levi Didn’t See Any White Lights During Brush With Death

We previously reported that Daath guitarist Eyal Levi nearly died two weeks ago while on tour, after a bout with a particularly nasty strain of pneumonia. Noisecreep spoke to Levi exclusively while he was recovering in Atlanta, under doctor’s orders.

“Am I going to die in this hospital in Hartford alone? Am I ever going to see my girlfriend again? Am I ever going to fulfill my artistic vision? Will I die in my sleep? How is it going to come? And why the f— now?” Those are some of the questions that Levi asked himself while laid up in a hospital in Hartford, Ct. when the pain became too much to continue touring. He is surprisingly zen about the whole experience. But then again, anyone who’s spent time with the dry-humored guitarist knows he’s one of the most even-keeled metal musicians ever!

He contracted the sickness during a tour with DragonForce. “I was f—ing around and wrestling with [drummer] Kevin [Talley] and got kneed in the ribs. It wasn’t malicious, but my rib got fractured,” the guitarist explained. One of the side effects of a broken rib is pneumonia, since the rib pressed against the lung, making it hard to inhale robust, full breaths and expel pollutants, which in turn fester and make you, as Levi said, “sick as f—.”

He never fully or properly healed, ended up with bilateral, multi-lobal pneumonia — fancy-speak for having both lungs infected. He wasn’t responding to antibiotics and was one step away from ICU when he left a show in complete pain. After morphine and steroids and a whole lot of terrifying fear, he started to get better.

He hasn’t had enough energy to play guitar during the healing process, so whether or not the situation will creep into Daath’s music remains to be seen. Levi said, “I’ve been inspired to stay in bed a lot. The near death experience is too close, and I don’t know how it has affected me. I was so freaked out that I was going to die, and when my mom, my girlfriend, ex-girlfriend and brother came to see me in the hospital, I knew it was serious.” The experience was traumatic in the mental sense, as well. “It’s not a good feeling to have all your faculties there and think, ‘This could kill me. I could die in my sleep. I could just choke.’ I am happy to be alive and to get back to my work.”

Doctors have said it’ll be six months until he’s operating at 100 percent, but he plans to storm forth on a September tour with Chimaira. Not even pneumonia can keep a metalhead down.

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