GWAR Guitarist's Cause of Death Determined

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Cory Smoot, a 10-year member of the heavy metal outfit who performed as the character Flattus Maximus, died from a fatal blood clot on the band's tour bus on Nov. 3.

GWAR's Cory Smoot died from coronary disease, his family confirmed on Tuesday, Dec. 6., citing an autopsy report by North Dakota coroner William Masselo, who wrote that he has "determined that Cory died from a coronary artery thrombosis brought about by his pre-existing coronary artery disease."

The 34-year-old guitarist was found dead on the band’s tour bus on November 3 just as the heavy metal outfit was crossing the Canadian border en route to a performance. Smoot joined the band in 2002 in the role of character Flattus Maximus.

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Coronary artery disease causes the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart to narrow, and can lead to the formation of a fatal blood clot, which appears to be what happened in Smoot's case. 

GWAR leader Dave Brockie (aka Oderus Urungus) called Smoot, "one of the most talented guitar players in metal today."

Born Aug. 25, 1977, Smoot previously played in metal bands Misguided and Locus Factor and continued to play with Mensrea, in addition to establishing his own solo endeavor, the Cory Smoot Experiment. He also operated his own music production company/recording studio, Karma Productions, where he mixed, engineered and produced for the likes of GWAR, Skeletonwitch and Municipal Waste.

With reporting by Billboard's Jon Blistein & Jillian Mapes 

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