There’s a saying that you should never meet your heroes, but anyone who has been fortunate enough to be around Cannibal Corpse‘s George ‘Corspsegrinder’ Fisher or the late Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder, would argue otherwise. And for Strnad, meeting his heroes meant frequently touring and guesting onstage with his idols in Cannibal Corpse.
On May 11, The Black Dahlia Murder released a statement announcing that the frontman, who co-founded the melodic death metal group in 2001, had died at the age of 41. News of his passing was immediately followed by tributes from countless peers, all of whom shared warm memories and kind words about Strnad’s musical legacy and his most inspiring personal traits.
Survey the metal scene and it’s pretty much impossible to find anyone who has been a bigger champion of death metal over the last two decades. An ardent supporter of the community he managed to rise to the top of with The Black Dahlia Murder, Strnad was gracious with his time and provided guest vocals on dozens of songs and was constantly finding ways to turn his fans on to scores of other death metal artists, both old and new.
Among his biggest influences and perennial favorites were Cannibal Corpse. In a 2017 episode of the Loudwire Podcast, which also featured Metal Blade Records founder and CEO Brian Slagel, we asked the vocalist what his all-time favorite album that came out on the label, the same place that has served as the exclusive home for Black Dahlia.
He replied, “[Cannibal Corpse’s] The Bleeding. No doubt. For me, coming into Metal Blade was right when you guys were putting out a ton of death metal and blazing a trail in that way, so to me it’s an important death metal label. Broken Hope and Cannibal Corpse ruled my world as a kid. All that gore — loved it.”
It’s only fitting that, over the years, Strnad joined Cannibal Corpse onstage to perform one of the standout tracks on The Bleeding — “Stripped, Raped and Strangled.”
Below are some videos of a few of those performances, the first being from 2007 as featured on Cannibal Corpse’s 2008 DVD Centuries of Torment: The First 20 Years. What we see is a kid in his mid-20s tearing up the stage and fulfilling a dream. It’s a moment that should strike any viewer with awe because the excitement Strnad projected remained so palpable for so many years as fans watched him ascend to becoming one of the genre’s most beloved and influential figures, continuing to project his passion for this scene and community.
Other clips presented below are from 2018, including an appearance at the Brutal Assault in Czech Republic as well as other stops along Cannibal Corpse and The Black Dahlia Murder’s European tour together in that same year. A quick embrace between Corpsegrinder and Strnad shows that their bond strengthened over time and it feels like instead of looking toward one of his idols, he was now looking across to Corpsegrinder as a genuine equal in death metal.
Rest in peace, Trevor Strnad.
Cannibal Corpse, “Stripped, Raped and Strangled” With Trevor Strnad (2007)
Cannibal Corpse, “Stripped, Raped and Strangled” With Trevor Strnad (2018)
Rockers We’ve Lost in 2022
Rock + Metal Musicians Who Died in 2022