Gwar guitarist found dead 

Cory Smoot, aka Flattus Maximus, was on tour.

Cory Smoot, the lead guitarist for Richmond's satirical heavy metal band Gwar, has died. He was found this morning following a Wednesday night concert in Minneapolis, MN., and as the group was preparing to enter Canada for additional concert dates on its current "Every Time I Die" tour. The cause of death has yet to be determined.

Gwar leader Dave Brockie released a statement about Smoot's passing to MetalSucks, a music-related website, earlier today:

"It is with a sense of profound loss and tragedy that the members of Gwar must announce the passing of their long time guitarist and beloved friend Cory Smoot, also known to thousands of metal fans worldwide as Flattus Maximus. Cory was found deceased this morning as the band prepared for a border crossing. There is no word as to the cause of death and the members of Gwar are completely shocked and devastated that this has occurred. At this point there is no word on arrangements and the disposition of the remainder of Gwar’s current North American tour, nor are there any details regarding long term plans. At this point we are just dealing with the loss of our dear friend and brother, one of the most talented guitar players in metal today. We ask that our fans and the media be respectful of our request for privacy for those that have suffered this terrible loss. A full statement will be coming in the next day or so, in the meantime please give your thoughts and your prayers to Cory, his family, and all the people that love him."

Smoot, 34, owned a recording facility, Karma Studios, and was responsible for co-producing several recent Gwar releases. He joined the band as Flattus Maximus in 2002.

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