Metal singer victim of 'ferocious' attack
The death metal band vocalist at the centre of a Wellington homicide inquiry died as a result of ferocious attack while in bed, police say.
Matthew John Hall, who went by the stage name "Blaps Warmonger", was found dead by a flatmate at his Johnsonville flat on Tuesday. The 35-year-old died from multiple stab wounds.
Hall was a long-serving member of the popular Wellington death metal band Backyard Burial, formed by a group of school friends in Lower Hutt in 1998.
The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Thornton, says an autopsy examination carried out on the body showed "he died from a ferocious attack whilst in his bed".
Thornton says the focus of the inquiry now is to find the person or people responsible for his brutal murder.
"Whilst we are keeping an open mind as to how Matthew met his death, we are still in the early stages of the investigation and it is the public who will help us solve this."
Numerous tributes have been left on the band's Facebook page, with many calling Hall's death "a great loss" to the metal music scene.
Manager of Wellington bar Medusa, Tamara Buckland, said the band members were "devastated" as they had known Hall for a very long time.
"He was an amazing guy," she said.
Backyard Burial released their debut album, titled Symptoms of Psychopathology, in 1999.
It was describe as the "long-awaited highly anticipated" debut album, which had "ten tracks of trademark Backyard Burial death/grind with guttural vocals, insane blasting and destructively rhythmic guitar chuggery".
On the band's website and Facebook page, Hall was listed under the name "Blaps "Chomper" Warmonger, Vocals".
A cordon was around the house - which is set back from the road and surrounded by trees - as 30 investigators worked on the case yesterday.
A neighbour said he came home on Tuesday night to hear yelling from the man's flatmate and see police in the driveway.
"I came home to hear a bit of hollering and that was it."
He had known the two men "a little bit", in a neighbourly fashion, and was disturbed by the death.
House owner and landlord How Yee Hong said the two men had lived there for seven or eight years with no problems.
Thornton said the flatmate had to be calmed down by police after finding the body. He had gone to stay with friends.
"He is quite upset about what he has discovered, and was speaking to us last night for quite some time."
No weapon had been found and it was unclear what the cause of death was at this point.
"[There are] some injuries, but we'll be leaving that up to the pathologist to determine."
Police would talk to neighbours to find out if anyone had seen any suspicious activity. They called for witnesses, including taxi or courier drivers who may have been in the area, to come forward.
A motive was not yet clear, he said. "It's like putting the pieces of a jigsaw back together."
Police want to hear from anyone who was in the Broderick Road area on Tuesday 15 February 2011 in the afternoon and early evening, who heard or saw anything suspicious.
Anyone with any information should phone 0508 BRODERICK (0508 276 337).