Sad news to report from veteran thrash act Laaz Rockit. The band's founding drummer Victor Agnello has passed away at 50 following a battle with leukemia.

Victor Agnello manned the drums for Laaz Rockit during what could arguably be called the band's strongest period. Agnello started with Laaz Rockit in 1983, drumming on four full-length albums before departing in 1989. However, Agnello would once again return from 2005-2006 for a short reunion.

When not thrashing with Laaz Rockit and helping pioneer the double-kick pedal's use in metal, Agnello successfully pursued a career in medicine, working as an allergist-immunologist in Huntersville, N.C.

In the early days of Laaz Rockit, the band actually headlined over Metallica before thrash's most successful foursome attained unparalleled success. In 2011, to return the favor, Metallica actually invited Laaz Rockit to perform during their 30th anniversary celebration at the Fillmore in San Francisco.

Rest in peace, Victor. To celebrate the life of a fantastic musician, listen to Agnello's work in the awesome Laaz Rockit cut 'Fire in the Hole' below!

Laaz Rockit, 'Fire in the Hole'