At the age of 62, Eric Wagner, original lead singer of Trouble, has died from complications of COVID pneumonia. News of his death broke after his oldest son Luke Wagner posted it on his Facebook page early Monday morning.
Trouble, along with Candlemass, Pentagram and Saint Vitus were considered the “big four” and pioneers of doom metal, a metal subgenre heavily inspired by the slower songs of Black Sabbath that routinely uses slow-moving tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "thicker" or "heavier" sound than other heavy metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics aspire to bring forth a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom.
The band Trouble was unique among metal bands of the '80s in that they often had Christian-inspired Biblical lyrics unlike many of their contemporaries who wrote about Satan for shock value.
The lyrics were not always of the Jesus and his Beatitudes variety; some of the lyrics, if not most, dealt with the Abrahamic God's anger and wrath as written in the Old Testament.
But you did not have to be religious or even be a believer at all to appreciate the heaviness and intensity of Trouble’s music.
The band was never very commercially popular, though they were universally respected in the world of heavy metal; members of Metallica counted themselves as big fans and Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters had Wagner sing a song on his Probot metal side project that was recorded in 2004.
Legendary producer Rick Rubin produced the band’s self-titled 1990 album, which many consider the band's best.
Wagner also sang in the bands Lid, Blackfinger, and The Skull though there is little doubt he will always primarily be remembered for his pioneering work with Trouble.
Wagner was reportedly unvaccinated against COVID-19.