Past and present members of Judas Priest are mourning the loss of their former drummer Dave Holland. Though the percussionist’s image was tarnished 15 years after leaving the band due to a 2004 conviction for attempted rape and multiple indecent assaults against a 17-year-old male with learning disabilities, his former bandmates focused on Holland’s huge contributions to their most prosperous creative period.

Holland’s discography with Judas Priest reads almost like a best-of list for the metal gods, as the drummer performed on every Priest album during the 1980s. His credits include masterpieces like British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance and Defenders of the Faith, with Holland’s drumming anchoring Priest down for their most commercially successful songs.

"It is with deep regret that I have to accept the sudden and unexpected news that Dave Holland has passed away," says former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing. "Dave was a solid friend in life and solid musician both on the stage and in the studio; I will cherish the many gigs we played together and the albums that we made and I will always be grateful to the indelible contribution that Dave gave to Judas Priest. My sincere condolences to all of Dave’s loved ones, family and friends, and to all of the fans that so much appreciated Dave’s musical ability and his life’s work. R.I.P. Dave."

Though Downing chose not to address Holland’s the current Judas Priest lineup alluded to the issue in their statement. "It is with regret that we hear of the passing of Dave Holland,” the band offers. “Despite his actions since working with the band, his time with us was amongst the most productive and successful in the band's career and for that alone he shall be missed."

According to Spanish news source El Progreso, Holland passed away on Jan. 16 in the town of Lugo. His cause of death has not been revealed as of yet and his remains have reportedly been cremated.

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