Nine months after the tragic passing of Power Trip singer Riley Gale at the age of 34, a cause of death has been revealed for the metal frontman. According to an autopsy report from the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office, Gale’s death was due to a pulmonary edema as the result of the toxic effects of fentanyl.
The paperwork was obtained by the YouTube channel Heavy Metal Picker, and confirmed by the website MetalSucks. According to the autopsy, Gale’s death was accidental and estimated to have occurred on the morning of August 25th, 2020. It further revealed that he was “found unresponsive on the floor at home.”
The report lists Gale as having 22.5ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter) of fentanyl in his system, and of having “history of Xanax abuse” and a “history of depression.” The singer tested negative for any other hard drugs or alcohol, but did test positive for marijuana.
Fentanyl-related deaths have been on the rise in recent years, with a surge in overall fatalities due to opioid overdoses during the pandemic. Most famously, Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose, and Tom Petty was also found with fentanyl in his system.
With Gale as their frontman, Power Trip were quickly rising up the ranks in the metal world, becoming one of the premier modern thrash bands. The Texas outfit released its acclaimed sophomore LP, Nightmare Logic, in 2017, and was working on a new album at the time of Gale’s death. They were nominated for a Grammy for their live performance of their song “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)”.
In March, the surviving members conducted their first interview since Gale’s passing, with guitarist Blake Ibanez saying, “We do want to continue to play music together; we just are not sure what that looks like at this time.”
After his passing, a library at the Dallas Hope Center was named after Gale by Dallas Hope Charities, which also opened a transitional home for LGBTQ youth with donations that were made in the singer’s honor.