Originally conceived in Los Angeles, 1989 with the "Tunnel Vision" demo, then later became one of the premiere bands to emerge out of the early Baltimore, MD death metal scene, with their 1993 demo Dark Reality, PESSIMIST played their first shows opening for national acts Incantation, Deicide, and Malevolent Creation. In 1995, the band self-released the EP Absence of Light on cassette and landed gigs opening for Testament, Forbidden, Suffocation, and Napalm Death.
In 1997 PESSIMIST signed to Lost Disciple Records and released their debut CD Cult of the Initiated, which charted on CMJ Top 40 Loud Rock Charts, and received acclaim from around the world. The band continued to play shows in the Mid-Atlantic region, opening for Cryptopsy, Nile, Gorguts, Dying Fetus, Vader, Monstrosity, and festival appearances at Milwaukee Metalfest XII, New England Metal and Hardcore Fest – and the band’s first European tour with Fleshless (Cz) in 1999.
PESSIMIST released their second CD, Blood For the Gods, in 1999, which soared into the CMJ Top 30 and received the prestigious “Pick of the Issue.. 10 Fucking Skulls” in SOD Magazine. 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.
In 2001, the band traveled to Tampa, FL to record with producer Erik Rutan, for their third CD, Slaughtering the Faithful, which featured a re-vamped lineup and a faster, more extreme musical direction. More shows followed with Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal, Krisiun, Immolation, Cannibal Corpse, Dark Funeral, festival appearances at March Metal Meltdown, New England Metal and Hardcore Fest, and November to Dismember.
PESSIMIST returned in 2008 with the Evolution Unto Evil CD, a compilation of rare/live demo recordings and tributes to Kreator, Megadeth, and Possessed, which was co-released on Pathos Prod and Deathgasm Recs. This was followed by appearances at New England Deathfest and Hostile City Deathfest. In 2009, the band returned to Europe for their second European tour with label-mates Pandemia (Cz).
In between downtime with the band, founder/guitarist Kelly McLauchlin had also been a member of bands such as UNHOLY GHOST, DIABOLIC, filled in live with ANGELCORPSE, and had later joined Death Metal legends POSSESSED, touring with the band from 2011-2013.
In 2018, PESSIMIST returned to the stage at Maryland Deathfest, headlining Las Vegas Deathfest, Rage of Armageddon Fest (NY), and Ruinfest (CA), and in 2019 released a new single, Keys to the Underworld, which featured studio drummer Kevin Talley (Dying Fetus, Suffocation) and bassist Kelly Conlon (Monstrosity, Death).
Now, in their latest incarnation, the current PESSIMIST lineup includes founder/guitarist Kelly McLauchlin (I Am Morbid, Possessed, etc.), new bassist recruit Andrew Bowen (Carnal Necrosis), and vocalist Ivan Alison aka “The Evil One” (Black Mass). The band recently welcomed drummer Tim Yeung (I Am Morbid, former Morbid Angel, Divine Heresy, etc.) to the recording lineup.
PESSIMIST is currently in the studio recording "Keys to the Underworld", for release on Season of Mist.