Joe Ptacek, best known for his work as the lead singer of death metal outfit Broken Hope, sadly passed away on Wednesday from what appears to be a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head. He was only thirty seven years old. A message from his former bandmate Jeremy Wagner reads as follows:
"It's with profound sadness and shock that [I report that] my friend and former bandmate - Joe Ptacek - has died.
"Joe was my high-school friend who formed a death-metal band with me called Broken Hope. We always dreamed of putting out albums and touring the world. After graduating, we achieved a lot of those dreams and released five albums, performed worldwide, appeared in countless international magazines and did a video for MTV. We were on Metal Blade Records and met all of our heroes and performed everywhere…
"Not bad for two teenagers out of Wildwood, Illinois.
"After 2000, Joe and I lost touch until just a few years ago. In recent months, we reconnected, hung out and became friends again. I just chatted with him after the New Year as he and I had found a drummer and a rehearsal spot where we were to begin working to bring back a new, resurrected form of Broken Hope.
"As of late, Joe was positive, healthy and had a mature and humble attitude that made me happy to see.
"I'm thankful to have known him in my lifetime and to have traveled many a mile and share many a stage with such an original character. Moreover, I'm thankful to have hugged him and to have made him smile the last time we were together. Why he chose to take his life, I'll never even begin to fathom, but I pray he's in a better place.
"So, to all of you extreme metal heads out there, I ask you to raise a toast in memory of Joe Ptacek, the absolute, hands down MOST BRUTAL DEATH-METAL VOCALIST EVER!
"Joe, I love you and I will miss you, brother…
"Your friend (who you affectionately called, Peck)."