Sad news to report over the holidays, as drummer Rick Cimato of up-and-coming metal band Thinning the Herd died in a car crash in Connecticut on his way from Maine to New York over the weekend.

Thinning the Herd recently recorded an album titled 'Freedom From the Known' with producer Steve Albini (Nirvana's 'In Utero'). The New York stoner-metal trio was set to release the disc in early February.

Cimato had been returning home from visiting relatives in Maine when the vehicle he was in was involved in a head-on car crash in Connecticut. Two other passengers in the car were also injured, but are expected to recover.

Thinning the Herd singer Gavin Spielman posted the following note on the band's Facebook page after learning of Cimato's death: "I just found out my best friend and drummer Rick was killed in a car accident this weekend. I don't think I can continue with Thinning the Herd anymore." He later posted another note that reads as follows:

Being in a band is about being friends.

In shock and in tears over the loss of my friend and bandmate, I have to think of the band. I named the band Thinning the Herd when my father Steven A. Spielman passed, to cope with the loss.
Rick would want me to keep writing for Thinning the Herd. If stop, I would not be doing his legacy service. His drumming on the new record is some of the best rock I have heard, and I want you guys to hear it.
Thank god for this guy, what a gift as a friend, brother and band mate. For anyone who jams with others, anyone who lets another into that higher conscious world - you might understand the depth of how one can integrate and nurture the spirit.

Loudwire would like to offer its condolences to Rick Cimato's family, friends and bandmates. A memorial page has been set up for Cimato on Facebook, while a video for 'Never Wanted,' the first track on the forthcoming album, 'Freedom From the Known,' can be seen below.

Thinning the Herd's 'Never Wanted' Video