Ministry’s bassist Paul Vincent Raven, 46, was found dead on Oct. 20 in a private home in a small French village on the Swiss border. Initial reports indicate Raven died from a heart attack. Raven, known also for his work with Killing Joke and Prong, was in Geneva working with French recording artists Treponem Pal on their new release with Marco Neves, Ted Parsons (Prong) and members of The Young Gods.
Born in Wolverhampton UK on Jan. 16, 1961, Raven established himself with his work in the seminal post-punk/industrial group Killing Joke when, in 1982, he replaced the original bassist for the band. He recorded and toured with the group throughout its most commercially successful period and performed on “Fire Dances,” “Night Time” and “Brighter than a Thousand Suns.” Throughout his extensive career, Raven participated in other collaborations including Murder, Inc., Pigface and Godflesh.
Most recently, Raven was nominated for a 2006 Grammy for Best Metal Performance for his work with Ministry’s Al Jourgensen, with whom he had begun working with in late 2005 on the 13th Planet release “Rio Grande Blood.” After a 2006 world tour with Ministry, Raven helped Jourgensen and Prong’s Tommy Victor pen the Ministry’s final studio release “The Last Sucker.”
“I am in total shock,” Jourgensen stated in a press release. “The world of music is a sadder, emptier place. Not only was Raven an extraordinary talent, but one of my closest dearest friends. Our condolences and prayers go to his immediate family. He will be truly missed by artists, musicians and his fans the world over. The one consolation is knowing Raven’s already hooked up with the right people and started a new project in the After Life. God’s speed, Raven. Rest In Peace, you f**king pirate.”
Raven’s newest project, Mob Research, featuring members of Warrior Soul and The Mission UK and scheduled for release on 13th Planet Records in 2008, was in the final mixing and mastering phases at the time of Raven’s passing.
A memorial dedicated to the Life and Art of Paul Raven can be found at the 13th Plant website.