Japanese bassist Akihiro Yokoyama of the veteran thrash metal band United has passed away at the age of 49. The cause of death was not declared, but a statement called his passing sudden.
“It happened totally out of the blue and it is very hard for his family, UNITED and the staff to accept it, but we wanted to share the news with everyone who has strongly supported both himself and UNITED over the years,” they wrote.
United began in 1981 as a cover band, taking their name from the Judas Priest song off of the British Steel album. It was only after Yokoyama joined in 1983 that the band started writing their own music. The bassist became their manager as well as the lead creative force in the band. He went on to record nine full length albums, two EPs and two singles with United on his trusty three-string bass.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Akihiro Yokoyama.