Riley Gale, the frontman for one of the leading thrash metal outfits in the scene today Power Trip, has passed away at the age of 34. His passing occurred yesterday, according to an e-mail statement sent to multiple press outlets earlier today, but a cause of death has not been reported as of press time. The band asks for respect and privacy for this moment, and urges fans to submit donations to the Dallas Hope Charities in lieu of flowers.
Gale helped found Power Trip back in 2008, and quickly garnered a high profile touring with legendary acts such as Ozzy Osbourne, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies and Danzig, alongside well regarded contemporaries such as Deafheaven, The Black Dahlia Murder and Warbringer. The group was still very active up until Gale’s death, as they released a surprise album a mere two months ago. The band’s song “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe),” was included as one of our best tracks of 2017.
The metal world has since responded to the news with condolences and sorrow, as many performers recall their love and personal experiences with Gale. Deafheaven, who just wrapped up a show at the beginning of the year alongside the outfit, simply wrote “Love you so much.”
Love you so much. https://t.co/qKcETeiG57
— Deafheaven (@deafheavenband) August 26, 2020
Full Of Hell added on “Rest In Peace to a truly good soul.” Randy Blythe recalled a beautiful moment alongside the group when they toured a couple of years ago, which wound up in an impromptu live collaboration for a Cro-Mags cover.
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A good memory to leave y’all with- we were on tour with @powertriptx a few years ago & one day I was chilling backstage while they were sound checking. I heard their guitarist goofing around & playing a Cro-Mags riff, & I RAN from the dressing room into the venue & started screaming & moshing all by myself in the empty venue- I LOVE the Cro-Mags. Riley saw me doing this & said “Hey- you wanna do this song with us tonight?” We ran through it in their dressing room a few times & then boom- they ended their set with it that night. This is the spontaneous, awesome sort of stuff that happens when you tour with cool people. I’ll miss ya, Riley. Rest In Power, bro.
The Black Dahlia Murder stated that while they did not know the performer well, that Gale seemed to be a “man of the people,” who had the ability to bring those together.
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I’m not going to pretend like I knew Riley very well, I didn’t. I do know that a lot of you did and I feel for you all, tremendously. What I can say is that he was a real man of the people… like the mayor of friendship. He seemed to have a million friends everywhere he went. Someone that really brought people together. A seemingly infinite well of charisma. Thinking of the sheer number of folks who are saddened right now out there by his passing is so fucking heavy, he really was a special person and touched a lot of lives. I admired him. He was first and foremost an unparalleled force on stage. Truly someone with that X factor, that perfect blend of charisma, honesty and fearlessness. He and the band were electrifying together and deserved every accolade coming to them and every word of praise. They had one foot in the hardcore scene and one in metal and were beloved by both. Outside of being one of the best frontmen to ever do it, Riley personified everything great about hardcore. He was outspoken in his views and used his platform of influence for good, always fighting for what was right and not being afraid to alienate fans over it. He was always lifting smaller bands up. He deservedly got props from all corners and generations of heavy music (and beyond) and was still able to be a very cool, humble person. In reality we only spoke a handful of times on the brief touring stints we did together, but he was always kind and genuine. Riley gave our band respect and it honestly meant a lot. I always saw Power Trip as this very special even mythically awesome band, the one you absolutely don’t want to play after. It was an honor to tour with you. Truly a legend in the making in every sense. Power Trip’s rise was astronomical and I always imagined that it would see them playing over us, Lamb of God… who knows? It was surely only a matter of time. We in The Black Dahlia Murder are heartbroken today. Our hearts go out to the Power Trip guys and their families in this tragic time, as well as the fans across the globe. RIP Riley – Trevor Strnad
Rapper and Bodycount frontman Ice-T posted a tribute to Gale, alongside footage from their collaboration earlier this year for Bodycount’s “Point The Finger.”
Posted in Tribute to my friend Riley Gale…. Gone far to soon.. 35yrs old.. GOD BLESS YOU homie… So Fn sad…. pic.twitter.com/DwHoXdVj7R
— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) August 26, 2020
Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed rote “Rest In Power” and praised Gale’s abilities as a frontman and vocalist.
Anthrax expressed shock for the event and simply gave their condolences to the family and friends of the late performer.
— Anthrax (@Anthrax) August 26, 2020
Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn was saddened by the news and recalled the time he saw the group open for Cannibal Corpse.
Photo Credit: Ekaterina Gorbacheva