Thrash-prone hardcore outfit Cobra Clutch is mourning the loss of guitarist Pat O'Brien, who, according to police in Maryland, died in his sleep Friday (May 29) night. While a cause of death has yet to be determined, the results from toxicology tests conducted by local medical examiners are expected back in the coming weeks, and may shed some light on what led to O'Brien's unexpected passing.

According to O'Brien's MySpace, the guitarist was 24-years-old at the time of his death, and is survived by an infant daughter named Violet. He was a fan of ultra-violent horror films and a number of goregrind bands, like XXX Maniak and Pig Destroyer.

O'Brien and the rest of the gore-obsessed band of old school wrestling fans recently wrapped production on its debut album and have been touring the East Coast heavily in recent weeks, playing several gigs with New York hardcore legends Murphy's Law.

O'Brien's death is the second suffered by the heavy metal community in two weeks. Last week, German Viking metallers StrydegoR announced that 20-year-old guitarist Slava Giebel had been killed in a fatal car wreck on May 23, two weeks before the release of the band's debut disc, 'Back On Ancient Traces.'

In a statement posted online, the surviving members of Cobra Clutch reflected that "Its never gonna be the same, bro. All the sh-t we've been through, man. [We] can't believe none of its gonna ever happen again. Playing without you is gonna be the hardest thing [we've] had to do but [we] know that's what you would want."

An outpouring of sorrow and support flooded Cobra Clutch's MySpace page over the weekend, with fans and friends offering their words of condolence.

"I'm really gonna miss your dumb, Food Network-watchin', mootchin' a--, bro," wrote one friend. "Tell Satan I said 'What's up!'" "I'm gonna miss you so much man, I love you brother," wrote another. "You will live in my thoughts and heart forever, rest well."

"This is the most sad, devastating thing that could have happened," wrote another fan. "Everyone loves you and misses you immensely. You were always there for me when I needed you and we had a lot of fun together over these last six years. Its hard to even put into words how heartbroken I am. I love you Patrick, and always will."

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