Following what Crescent Shield’s website describes as a “relatively brief but serious illness,” the band’s singer, Michael Grant, has died at the age of 39. Grant also played with Onward, a power metal band who released two albums on Century Media in 2001 and 2002. Crescent Shield guitarist Dan LeLucie posted a statement on their site eulogizing his writing partner:
Today I have lost a dear and close friend, a band mate, and a heavy metal brother. Michael Grant passed away on May 31, 2012 at Glendale Memorial Hospital in Glendale, CA after a relatively brief but serious illness. He was 39 years old. He was peaceful and surrounded by family at the time of his passing. Michael recorded and toured with several bands throughout his career most notably Onward on Century Media Records and more recently Crescent Shield on Cruz del Sur Music.
Michael’s rich and powerful baritone and clean melodic vocal style made him a distinct voice in heavy metal. He was known for crafting memorable vocal hooks and layered harmonies. He often weaved multiple vocal phrases together creating a complex and striking tapestry of vocal melodies. Perhaps most notable however was the passion Mike sang with. He could evoke the strength and grandiloquence of the mightiest metal warrior or the mournful atmosphere of a passing life.
Mike was more than just a singer though. He was a greatly talented songwriter and lyricist. Although he didn’t play an instrument, he would often write complete songs by humming guitar lines and vocalizing drum beats. His lyrics were profound, evocative and often personal. He was a true lover of heavy metal and would sing its praises with a sense of poetry and grandeur. No matter the topic: journeys into the unknown, the choices we make in life, religious dogma, or a crimson moonrise, Mike always delivered a moving message with unique elegance.
Writing, recording, and performing music with Mike in Crescent Shield was a joy. We were in synch creatively and complimented each other’s abilities very well. We produced music for the love of it. We performed for the love of it. Crescent Shield’s pinnacle performance at Keep It True 08 in Germany was a dream come true for both of us.
Working with Mike was the most creatively rewarding experience of my life. Although the band has been on hiatus for a while, Mike and I still were writing new material and his voice and creative energies were still in top form. Losing him at such a young age is both shocking and tragic. I will miss my musical companion, my metal brother, and my friend.
No further details about his funeral services or cause of death have been released yet.