Sean Malone, bassist of acclaimed metal band Cynic, has died at the age of 50. No cause of death was reported, but his passing was confirmed by Cynic founder Paul Masvidal.
The tragic news comes less than a year after the death of founding Cynic drummer Sean Reinert, who passed away at age 48 in January.
Malone joined Cynic in 1993, in time for the technical death metal outfit’s influential debut album, Focus. The band broke up in 1994, but re-formed in 2006, with Malone briefly coming back in 2008 and 2011, before permanently rejoining in 2012.
He had been an active member of Cynic up until his passing, and appeared on the band’s comeback album, 2008’s Traced in Air, and 2014’s Kindly Bent to Free Us, a pair of progressive metal releases that were both met with critical acclaim. In addition to performing on all three of Cynic’s full-length studio albums, Malone also appeared on Cynic’s 2011 EP Carbon-Based Anatomy.
On Wednesday evening (December 9th), Masvidal broke the news of Malone’s death, writing, “I learned today that Sean Malone has died. I am numb and grief stricken. He had a brilliant mind, a gracious heart and was one of the greatest musicians I’ve ever encountered.”
He continued, “I know that this is a shocking loss for so many fans whose lives he touched with his artistry, as it is for me. Please keep him in your thoughts and listen to his playing to celebrate his life.”
Malone was also an in-demand session player, appearing on numerous albums by various artists throughout the years. His passing leaves singer-guitarist Masvidal as the lone classic member of Cynic left in the band. Sean Reinert had exited the group in 2015, prior to his death earlier this year. He was replaced at the time by Matt Lynch, who is currently the only other member of the band aside from Masvidal.
Our condolences go out to Sean Malone’s family, friends, and bandmates during this difficult time. See the bassist performing with Cynic during a 2015 concert in Japan below, followed by tributes from Masvidal and metal luminaries Mike Portnoy and Alex Skolnick.
…and we last toured together in 2014 when he was playing Bass in John Wesley’s band opening for Flying Colors. This is just another shocking loss in 2020…sadly the same year we also lost Sean Reinert, his rhythm section partner in Cynic. #RIPSeanMalone 😥
— Mike Portnoy 🤘 (@MikePortnoy) December 10, 2020
Sad news, indeed. I’d only met #SeanMalone once or twice but respected him as a serious musician, underrated & with uncommon diversity. It’s unfortunate #Cynic is so overlooked, occupying a space that’s like a subgenre within subgenres (the prog/alt side of 90s death metal) RIP https://t.co/D3W88kyKgY
— Alex Skolnick (@AlexSkolnick) December 10, 2020