Metal guitarist, Ralph Santolla has just passed away yesterday, Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 at age 48. After entering a coma following a heart attack last week, it was confirmed on Tuesday that he would be taken off life support the following day. Santolla’s mother, Sue Santolla-Rocha made this statement yesterday on her Facebook page:
Good morning. Just so we all start to heal, Ralph Santolla is not laying on that bed at St Joseph Hospital. He has gone, and he is happy and at peace in heaven. I want to start your day with a little humor. My wonderful mother and Ralph grandmother passed away three years ago. One of my friends was trying to console me, Fred Parker, and had the comment that Ralph would be playing music for his Nannie..it just made me laugh to visualize Ralph playing heavy metal for his Nannie. OMG….it would be so funny… His Nannie was an amazingly strong woman and she would tell him, cut it down, and play something decent. I ❤️ my son more than anyone can imagine, my heart is broken..but I know he loved me unconditionally and will always be with me. It is the same with all of us, he will be with you everyone, everyday and his love will surround us now and forever.i wanted to tell everyone that I have thousands of messages…I just can’t deal with it right now but I love each of you.
Born in 1969, Italian-American guitarist, Ralph Santolla has been one of the most prolific names in metal – most notably known for playing with Deicide, Obituary, Death, and Iced Earth. He was a recording and touring member of Florida death metal legends, Deicide from 2005-2011; during which time Santolla also played with fellow Florida death metallers, Obituary in 2007, appearing on two albums and one EP.
In addition to the aforementioned bands, Santolla also lent his axe skills to Millennium, Sebastian Bach, Melechesh, and Vital Remains. He was involved with numerous side project bands including Seduced Eye, Memorial, and Redscream. One of his latest projects was the supergroup, Devil’s Highway consisting of members from Testament, Dimmu Borgir, and Crowbar for which the band’s debut album was still in progress. Santolla’s mother stated that the unreleased music will eventually be released posthumously.