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Metalium Bassist/Founder Lars Ratz Killed In Ultralite Crash

Lars Ratz, born Lars Ranzenberger, has died following an aerial accident in which his ultralite crashed near a restaraunt in Mallorca, Spain. He was fifty three years old. The guardia civil is reportedly investigating the incident. More details will follow once they become available.

Ratz began his career as the bassist for power metal band Velvet Viper, with whom he recorded the self-titled debut album and the sophomore "The 4th Quest For Fantasy," before parting company with the band in 1993. He would then join Viva and played on their last album, "Cream Cake Box," in 1996, before forming Metalium in 1998, recruiting such names as Savatage guitarist Chris Caffrey and future Firewind/Brainstorm vocalist Henning Basse.

Chris Caffrey paid tribute to Lars with the following message:

"One of the many discussions I have had during the past year involved reunions and new records from bands I haven’t recorded with in years. You all know the obvious by the posts that have been floating around. One of the others was conversations I had with Henning and Lars Ratz about the possibility of a new Metalium record and festival tour. I had actually began writing songs with this reunion in mind. I am shocked and saddened to have just received the very sad news that Lars Ratz has died today in a small plane crash.

"That first Metalium record was a very huge part of my musical and personal past. Although the situation wasn’t always perfect Lars believed in me and was so proud that he had me there to be a part of that first albums creation and the very first shows. Millennium Metal was a classic record top to bottom.

"Lars loved risks. He kinda lived very heavy metal in many ways. He loved being a pilot. He can now take some of my friends in heaven on some of his flights. Fly with the angels my friend.

"This song was always one of my favorites from this record..."

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