Members: Rob Kline/vocals, Kelly McLauchlin/guitars, Chris Pernia/drums
PESSIMIST is by definition: "a belief in the dark side, and the tendency to take the darkest and most negative view of the world. In particular, the doctrine or belief that the Evil in this world outweighs the good and that all things ultimately tend towards Evil..."
The first complete PESSIMIST lineup was formed in Baltimore, MD early 1993. After recording the "Dark Reality" demos in 1993-1994, the lineup was solidified to include founding members Kelly McLauchlin (guitars) and Rob Kline (vocals), along with brothers Chris Pernia (drums) and Tony Pernia (bass). In 1994, the band played their first few shows in the MD/DC area, opening for INCANTATION, FORBIDDEN, DEICIDE, and BROKEN HOPE.
In 1995, the band recorded their "Absence of Light" EP/Demo, and continued playing shows, opening for TESTAMENT, FORBIDDEN and SUFFOCATION. In 1996, the band released a 1-song promo tape, "Let the Demons Rest", which highlighted the band's more brutal direction. These were sent out to the underground, and the band started to get reviews and interviews in a few 'zines, as well as some label interest. More local shows followed, with DYING FETUS, VICIOUS CIRCLE (NJ), NAPALM DEATH and AT THE GATES.
The following year, in 1997 PESSIMIST signed to Lost Disciple Records and released their self-produced debut CD, "Cult of the Initiated", catapulting onto the global Death Metal scene, receiving acclaim in dozens of zines around the globe and underground radio airplay worldwide, charting in the CMJ National Top 40 in the US.
PESSIMIST became recognized for their unique brand of brutal and technical Black/Death Metal, with old-school thrash influences, an emphasis on quality songwriting, powerful live shows and a dark, evil sound.
More live shows followed in 1997-1998, playing with bands such as DEICIDE, CRYPTOPSY, INCANTATION, GORGUTS, NILE, INTERNAL BLEEDING, SKINLESS, PYREXIA, VITAL REMAINS, and an opening slot on the "Extremities Tour" with VADER, MONSTROSITY, and BROKEN HOPE. In 1998, PESSIMIST made their first US festival appearance at Milwaukee Metalfest XII, and was featured in Metal Maniacs Magazine.
In 1999 PESSIMIST released their brutal follow-up "Blood for the Gods" CD, again on Lost Disciple Records - which soared into the Top 20 CMJ National Loud Rock Charts and received the coveted "Pick of the Issue...10 Fucking Skulls!" in SOD Magazine. This year also included shows with ANGELCORPSE, KRISIUN and INCANTATION, and more US festival appearances, at New England Metal & Hardcore Fest, and Milwaukee Metalfest XIII.
In the Summer of 1999 PESSIMIST completed their first European Tour of Czech Republic and Germany, with Fleshless and Godless Truth. That same year the band was featured on the cover of Pit Mag #30, and recorded for several tribute CDs: Tribute to KREATOR (Full Moon Prod), and Tributes to DEATH and MEGADETH (Dwell Recs). More live shows followed, including festival appearances at Maryland Death Fest, St. Louis Slaughterfest, and "November to Dismember" in TX.
By 2000 PESSIMIST was in full swing, playing more shows with DYING FETUS, LIVIDITY, and INTERNAL BLEEDING, and more festivals: New England Metal & Hardcore Fest II, NJ March Metal Meltdown, and Ohio Deathfest 2000. The band was also honored to be chosen by Metal Blade Records as the first finalist in the MetalSearch2000 contest on mp3.com.
This year also saw the band endure several potentially fatal but necessary lineup changes; replacing the original members were Ralph "Reaper" Runyan (bass/vox), Bill Hayden (guitars) and John Grden on drums. By mid-2000 PESSIMIST had completely re-invented itself, in its most lethal incarnation thus far.
With the live debut of the new lineup at LA, CA's "November to Dismember II" 2000, more US dates followed in 2001, opening shows for MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE, CANNIBAL CORPSE, GORGUTS, and IMMOLATION, and festival appearances at New England Hardcore & Metal Fest III, NJ March Metal Meltdown III, and Milwaukee Metalfest XV. PESSIMIST signed again to Lost Disciple Records, and released their 3rd CD, "Slaughtering the Faithful", enlisting the talents of Erik Rutan (MORBID ANGEL/HATE ETERNAL) to produce the album. This CD is regarded as the most brutal and intense music ever recorded in the history of the band.
2002 saw PESSIMIST playing shows with CANNIBAL CORPSE, IMMOLATION and DARK FUNERAL, New England Hardcore & Metal Fest IV and NJ Metal Meltdown IV, and a live-in-studio performance at Hellhole Radio WNYU, NYC. Unfortunately by now, ongoing lineup changes and management issues had taken their toll, and it was decided to put PESSIMIST on hold for a while.
In January of 2003, PESSIMIST founder/guitarist Kelly McLauchlin joined forces with former DIABOLIC members to form a new band, UNHOLY GHOST. The band quickly signed to Century Media/Olympic Recs, and released a debut CD, "Torrential Reign". Despite the apparent success of this band, internal turmoil and lineup changes eventually led to its demise and in Feb. 2005, just two years after its formation, Kelly parted ways with UNHOLY GHOST, in order to once again pursue PESSIMIST and other musical projects.
By 2008, PESSIMIST had re-united with the original lineup (from the first two CDs, "Cult of the Initiated" and "Blood For the Gods"), to once again include vocalist Rob Kline, drummer Chris Pernia, guitarist Kelly McLauchlin and filling in on bass - Kelly Conlon, (formerly of DEATH and MONSTROSITY).
The band played their reunion show at New England Death Fest 2008, and released their 4th full-length CD, "Evolution Unto Evil" on Pathos Prod/Deathgasm Recs. The CD pays tribute to POSSESSED, KREATOR, DEATH and MEGADETH, and also features previously unreleased and demo tracks.
The band then teamed up with former Lost Disciple Recs label-mates PANDEMIA, to complete their 2nd European Tour in 2009, playing Belgium, Holland, Germany and Czech Republic. This was followed by more East Coast US dates, including "Hostile City Death Fest" in Philly, PA.
2008 ""Evolution Unto Evil" CD
2002 "Slaughtering the Faithful" CD
1999 "Blood For the Gods" CD
1997 "Cult of the Initiated" CD
1996 "Let the Demons Rest" Promo
1995 "Absence of Light" EP/Demo
1993 "Dark Reality" Demo
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-|- Brutal and Evil Death Metal!! Baltimore's Dark Overlordes since 1993 -|-