WARLORD co-founder and guitarist William J. Tsamis has passed away on Thursday, May 13 at the age of 60, WARLORD fan club reports.
In a 2017 interview, Tsamis revealed that he was suffering from a serious health issue which he said would “never go away” but he offered no specifics.
WARLORD was founded in 1980 by Tsamis and drummer/percussionist Mark Zonder and is considered a pioneer in power metal thanks to its now-classic 1983 six-song EP, Deliver Us. WARLORD caught the attention of fledgling record company owner, Brian Slagel, whose label, Metal Blade Records, had recently issued Metal Massacre, a compilation featuring up and coming local metal bands such as MALICE, STEELER, RATT, and METALLICA. An aficionado of the new wave of British heavy metal and admirer of the European metal aesthetic, Slagel was impressed by Warlord’s semi-progressive style inspired by such diverse acts as RAINBOW, ANGEL WITCH, and JETHRO TULL.
Slagel decided to offer the band a spot on his next compilation and Warlord would make their vinyl debut with Lucifer’s Hammer on 1982’s Metal Massacre II. Earning rave reviews, WARLORD made a repeat appearance with “Mrs. Victoria” on Metal Massacre III and were signed to Metal Blade for their 1983 Deliver Us 6-song mini-album which got the band featured in important publications such as Kerrang!.