R.I.P. Bolt Thrower's Martin "Kiddie" Kearns

R.I.P. Bolt Thrower's Martin 'Kiddie' Kearns
Martin Kearns, the drummer for UK death metal institution Bolt Thrower, passed away in his sleep this week of causes unknown, the band reports. He was 38 years old.

A statement from the group explains that Kearns had left band practice a few days ago, complaining that he'd not been feeling well. Though the reason behind his death has not yet been explained, the band note that he died "peacefully in his sleep" on Monday (September 14).

"With the heaviest of hearts, and still numb from shock, we have to share the very sad news that on Monday, Bolt Thrower lost our powerhouse drummer, Martin 'Kiddie' Kearns," the group said in a statement. "After the first rehearsal for our upcoming tour of Australia, Kiddie suddenly felt unwell which continued throughout the night, and the next day he passed away peacefully in his sleep."

Bolt Thrower were to leave for an Australian tour next week, but the act have cancelled the dates out of respect for their fallen bandmate, whom they said was also "a fantastic dad, husband, son, friend."

They added: "Kiddie enriched our lives and the Bolt Thrower sound. He leaves a massive hole in the lives of everyone who knew him and will be very sorely missed by many."

Kearns joined the Coventry, UK death metal band in 1994 at the age of 17, which is how he got the nickname of "Kiddie." He exited the band in 1997, but made his return in 2000, playing with Bolt Thrower until his death.

His recorded output with Bolt Thrower includes 2001's Honour - Valour - Pride and 2005's Those Once Loyal. The band came through Canada this year on their "Overtures of War" tour.