The body of Paul Raven — who played bass for seminal post-punk/ industrial outfit Killing Joke before later working with Ministry, Prong and Godflesh — was discovered Saturday in a home in Geneva, Switzerland, according to Ministry's publicist. Early indications are that Raven, 46, died of a heart attack.
Raven was in Geneva working with French industrial band Treponem Pal, who are reuniting for a new album with singer Marco Neves, Prong/Jesu drummer Ted Parsons and members of the Young Gods.
Raven's body was apparently discovered by Parsons, according to a post on the drummer's MySpace page. He said he went out drinking with Raven and the rest of the collaborators the night before Raven's body was found.
"I found Raven asleep in a chair the next morning in [a] living room," he explained. "I thought nothing of it, as Raven would sleep like this on the tour bus in the front lounge all the time. Then I looked closer at him, and he looked very gray. I checked his pulse and there was none. I yelled for the other guys in the band. We immediately did some CPR and called for an ambulance. Medics arrived quickly, but after an hour of trying to get his heartbeat back, they could not save him. They said he died in his sleep, probably around 6 a.m. It was then 9:30 a.m. Words can't describe how I feel right now. I'm devastated. He will be missed by many."
Parsons added the news of Raven's death "deeply saddens" him and that they were to be in Geneva for a week working on the Treponem Pal record.
Ministry's Al Jourgensen expressed shock at Raven's passing. "The world of music is a sadder, emptier place," he wrote in a statement. "Not only was Raven an extraordinary talent, but one of my closest, dearest friends. Our condolences and prayers go to his immediate family. He will be truly missed by artists, musicians and his fans the world over."
Raven made a name for himself with his work with Killing Joke, which he joined in 1982, replacing original bassist Youth. He recorded and toured with the band as it achieved some commercial success, lending his talents to 1983's Fire Dances, 1985's Night Time and 1986's Brighter Than a Thousand Suns. He left the band during the recording of 1988's Outside the Gate but later rejoined the fold for 1990's Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions.
When Killing Joke called it quits in 1991, Raven and his bandmates — save frontman Jaz Coleman — went on to form Murder, Inc., adding singer Chris Connelly to the mix. Raven also participated in Pigface, a project conceived by Murder Inc./ Killing Joke/ Public Image Ltd. drummer Martin Atkins, and later joined Prong for 1994's Cleansing and 1996's Rude Awakening.
He then rejoined Killing Joke for the band's 2003 eponymous effort and its 2006 follow-up, Hosannas From the Basements of Hell. Raven began working with Jourgensen and Ministry in 2005, eventually appearing on 2006's Rio Grande Blood and this year's The Last Sucker. Raven's most recent work was with Mob Research, a band featuring members of Warrior Soul and the Mission UK. Its debut LP is expected to hit stores next year.