A common thread throughout his career was the fact that he rarely joined any of the bands he worked with, rather operating as a long-term hired gun. "My life immeasurably richer for knowing you", the King Crimson mainstay writes.
The great Bill Rieflin has changed hotel rooms for the last time - after a long battle with cancer he checked out and left us today.
Bill, born William Frederick Rieflin, began playing professionally in his hometown Seattle.
"Today we lost a wonderful artist, tremendous human being and an integral part of Ministry's developments and success...", Ministry shared in a statement. Prior to embarking on King Crimson's North American tour in 2017, Rieflin spoke to Rolling Stone about his return to the band after his first hiatus and his new role as keyboardist in the group. "Safe travels my brother on the way to your next universal gig". He would go on to appear on five Ministry albums including breakthrough The Land Of Rape and Honey, and The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste.
He was also a frequent contributor to Ministry leader Al Jourgensen's side projects, such as Revolting Cocks, Lard and 1000 Homo DJs. He also frequently played with bands that included other drummers: King Crimson, his most recent group, at times featured three.
Death Cab for Cutie's Dave Depper remembered him as "one of the wisest, kindest, funniest, grumpiest, most talented humans that has ever graced the earth".
The talented star became a member of R.E.M.in 2003 until 2011, playing drums and occasionally guitar and keyboards.
The rock band's frontman Michael Stipe has penned a touching Eulogy to honour his legacy and life on R.E.M.'s website.
In addition to his recorded output, Rieflin also served as a touring drummer for R.E.M. throughout the 2000s, up until the band's dissolution in 2011.
He still kept his toe in industrial rock though, and worked with Swans on 2016's "The Glowing Man".