Jul 152013

This isn’t a full-blown edition of THAT’S METAL!, because I didn’t get my butt in a high enough gear to do one this week. It’s just one item that I found via a link from our buddy Phro, and it’s so fuckin’ cool that I decided to go with it now instead of adding it to the pile of other items from which the next full edition will be assembled. (And for any newcomers, this series is about photos, videos, and news items that I think are metal even if they’re not music.)

This is a story about Justin Vigile, the drummer for a Philadelphia metal band named Extractus, and about the doctor (Hartzell Schaff) who gave him back his life. There are other messages in this story, too, but you can draw your own conclusions about those. I just want to tell you what happened.

The facts are based on a May 14 story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune by Jon Tevlin. It begins with these sentences:

“When a Mayo Clinic surgeon showed a short film featuring the drummer of the heavy metal band Extractus at the Minneapolis Convention Center last week, he probably wasn’t hitting the band’s target audience. They were suit-clad doctors, in town for the annual convention of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. They seemed pretty button-down for the drummer’s exuberant style, but they were impressed nonetheless. That’s because the drummer, 22-year-old Justin Vigile, had been bedridden and dying with end-stage heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy [HCM], or thickening of the heart muscle, just months before the video was shot. Continue reading »