Madina Lake rocker MATTHEW LEONE died several times on the operating table as surgeons battled to save him following a savage beating.
The bassist was attacked in his native Chicago, Illinois in July (10) after he intervened in a domestic dispute between two strangers.
Now he's revealed he was so badly injured, he "flatlined" several times during surgery to his fractured skull - and experienced "peace and an energy" as his life slipped away.
Leone tells Kerrang! magazine, "I was 15 minutes away from (dying), and then the surgeons sawed my dome (head) open because I had extreme internal brain haemorrhaging... I also had a few flatlines on the operating table, resulting in some metaphysical experiences that were wildly interesting to see and feel.
"I didn't see the pearly white gates with my mom and my bunnies waiting for me, but I did manage to see, feel and connect to a peace and an energy that I never knew existed - that affected me profoundly."
Leone is suffering vertigo and partial facial paralysis as he recuperates from the incident, but he's aiming to be back on stage with his Madina Lake bandmates early next year (11).
He adds, "I have some intense rehabilitation ahead of me and I may have some more surgery, but my goal is to be back onstage by February and in the U.K. by March, when we release the new album World War III. I can't wait to tour again!"