What the hell is going on? Why on earth are good people taken away from us? On this planet we have millions of complete, utter, arseholes, people who treat other people like dirt, yet it seems in the grand scheme of things too many good people are taken from us. Three years ago one such good person was taken from us, Dimebag Darrell, and I only just discovered that another incredible human being has too…Witold “Vitek” Kieltyka, the incredibly talented drummer from Decapitated. He died in a van accident while on tour in Russia. Adrian “Covan” Kowanek from the band also sustained serious head injuries, but is stable.

Rest in peace, brother.

Aged 23, Vitek was an incredible force in death metal drumming. Decapitated developed strong success as they worked hard to push out album after album, and by far one of the most notable aspects of their sound was the uncompromising, machine-like drumming, complete with clicky double-bass drumming, ferocious blast beats and incredible endurance and finesse. Like many other listeners, I was mesmerised by his playing, it was so intense and sub-human in its ferocity, particularly demonstrated in the remarkable short bursts of drumming that just appeared out of the blue in many of the songs on Nihility. In fact, the very first time I heard Decapitated was driving to a gig in Stourbridge, and our guitarist, Steve Hadley played me them on a cassette tape. I could not get enough of them.

To see his work, see these vids:

Luckily I got to see Decapitated in Birmingham, despite having missed them due to having bronchitis. They are a fantastic group of guys, genuine and friendly, and Vitek was no exception. His playing that night was stunning – in many ways, you half expect such technical perfection to be lost in the live context, but he made it look flawless, effortless and it was a stunning spectacle to see.

When someone dies it is tempting to become swept up in the emotion and make them out to be a godly creature that could never be replaced, and while there are many, many great drummers out there, many of which are faster and more technical, I don’t think any drummer in death metal played with the same level of creativity and finesse that Vitek did. The metal world, and particularly the death metal world, is a small community, and this news will have shocked every Decapitated fan, and this particular fan is devastated at the news. 🙁

The band are accepting donations, which will go to his family.

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