Clive Burr, the former Iron Maiden drummer has died at his London home, Sky News report. The drummer, who was considered by many to be the driving force behind the band’s original pioneering metal sound, has passed away at the age of 56. Burr played on Iron Maiden’s first three albums, Iron Maiden, Killers and The Number of the Beast. Burr had been suffering from multiple sclerosis but is said to have “died peacefully in his sleep.”

The band’s founding bass player Steve Harris, said “He was a wonderful person and an amazing drummer who made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out.” His former band mate then added “This is a sad day for everyone in the band and those around him and our thoughts and condolences are with his partner Mimi and family at this time." Burr was a member of Iron Maiden between 1979 and 1982, leaving after the band’s third album topped the UK album chart.

Rolling Stone magazine described Burr’s contribution as a “major ingredient” to the band’s sound, which, in their infancy, was notable for introducing the fast tempo of punk music to the heavy metal genre. Though the band were a hit in the UK, it wasn’t until after Burr left that they found success Stateside and developed to become a huge international act.