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Gridllink’s Takafumi Matsubara Suffers Brain Infection/Inflammation, May Never Play Guitar Again

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Takafumi Matsubara

We already knew that Gridlink’s ass-ripper of a new album, Longhena, would be the band’s last. But while it seems safe to assume that most of the band’s members will remain involved in extreme music via other projects, guitarist Takafumi Matsubara (who you may also know from Corrupted and Mortalized) could be forced to retire.

The news comes via vocalist Jon Chang (who has also been Matsubara’s bandmate in Hayaino Daisuki), who says in a press release:

“It is with terrible sadness, that I must announce that Takafumi Matsubara is putting down his guitar and stepping away from music, likely forever. Approximately one month ago, Takafumi was hospitalized and doctors discovered he had a serious infection/inflamation in his brain. While the immediate danger has passed and Takafumi is out of the hospital, he has lost significant dexterity and control of his left hand, including the complete paralysis of his middle finger.

“As of today, Takafumi has permanently stepped down as lead guitar from Corrupted and Mortalized. There is a small chance of recovery through physical rehabilitation and extended medical treatment, but Doctor’s were not positive about his ability to play guitar again.

“The Gridlink album Longhena will likely be his last work. He would like to extend his warmest regards to the artists that he was able to work with over the years and people he met through the band.”

This is horrible news for us fans — surely, Matsubara is one of the best grind guitarists out there right now — but it would be selfish to see this as anything other than devastating news for Matsubara. It’s hard to imagine what it must be like to be told you can probably never do something you’re really passionate about again. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

The silver lining — if there is any — is that Longhena is incredible, and a very high note for Matsubara to go out on. Even if he never plays guitar again, his work will surely live on.

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