Jeff Ulmer, guitarist/vocalist for the acclaimed early ’80s Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based metal band SACRED BLADE, died on March 22 after reportedly suffering a stroke. His sister, Jennifer Ulmer, wrote on Facebook: “You’ll be missed terribly, brother Jeff. We’ll keep your memory alive forever in our hearts, in those quiet moments. With friends it will be with stories, laughter and tears, and with music, of course.”

According to The BNR Metal Pages, “SACRED BLADE went the usual route of recording demos and gaining an underground reputation, appeared on a ‘Metal Massacre’ compilation [with the song ‘The Alien’], and finally releasing the excellent ‘Of The Sun + Moon’ album in 1986, one of the great gems of pure ’80s metal. With sci-fi lyrical themes and a speed/power style that was familiar yet quite original, the album has stood the test of time as a classic of the underground ’80s metal scene. Various recordings were made towards the release of a second album which was rumored to be called ‘The Seven Moonz Of Xercez’, but the album never materialized (though bootleg copies of the demo circulated for years later) and the band seemingly disappeared.”

In a 2006 interview, Ulmer stated about the fact that SACRED BLADE never released a follow-up to “Of The Sun + Moon”: “I don’t believe that releasing inferior product is good for anything other than ripping the fans off, which is the last thing I want to do. Sure, having new product would keep the public awareness alive, but I would still be faced with an album I could not fully stand behind. I struggled for over a decade to get the follow-up to ‘Of The Sun + Moon’ recorded, but for one reason or another, there were always obstacles that kept it from completion, from financing to having our tapes disintegrate during production. I know it is frustrating to the fans to have to wait so long for new material. It is equally frustrating for me to have to contend with the hurdles that are faced when you are independently producing music that isn’t conforming to the current trends in the market, while insisting on production quality that rivals or surpasses that of artists with multibillion-dollar corporations behind them.”