Sad news to report from Seattle metal band Heir Apparent. Bryan Hagan, who fronted the group from 2002-2003 has passed away on May 21 at 39 years of age. The cause of his death has not yet been revealed.

Hagan never put his voice onto a record for a band, as Heir Apparent's last full-length album, 'One Small Voice' was released in 1989. However, the band remains active and played shows during Hagan's time with the band. In honor of their fallen brother in music, Heir Apparent posted a tribute to the vocalist in the 'News' section of their official website.

"He was a gentle giant and a great friend," begins the band's statement. "Bryan was slated as first choice to replace Paul Davidson for the 2012 reunion shows last January in Greece and Germany, but was unable to make the trip. We are shocked and tremendously saddened by his untimely passing," the post continues. "You will be greatly missed, my friend."

Unfortunately, Hagan was unable to perform vocal duties for Heir Apparent's European shows, where the band achieved much greater success than in the United States. According to the band's MySpace page, Heir Apparent's first album, 'Graceful Inheritance' remains the "highest rated album" by German Magazine 'Rock Hard.'

An online memorial, with more quotes about Hagan, has been set up here.