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Cynic/Death drummer Sean Reinert dead at 48

Sean Reinert

Legendary and highly influential death metal/tech-death drummer Sean Reinert of Cynic and Death has passed away at age 48. As Blabbermouth reports, “He was apparently found unresponsive at his California home Friday night (January 24). No cause of death has yet been revealed.”

Sean’s longtime friend Kelly Shaefer of fellow Florida death metal band Atheist also acknowledged the news on Facebook, writing, “RIP Sean Reinert, my friend for 30 + years and one of the best drummers on the planet. Someone make it stop…..I cant believe this…..”

Death also posted, “RIP to an absolute monster and genius on the drums. I’m speechless and have no details.”

Update: Sean’s husband Tom and sister Patti issued a statement:

I’m broken. As many of you now know, my husband Sean passed away last night. Some of you in the inner circle I was able to reach via phone last night and this morning to try to let you know what happened before it spread across social media. For those I couldn’t reach to tell you myself I’m sorry.

I’m still trying to put together the events of the last 24 hours. After coming home from work last night I found Sean unresponsive on the floor, I administered CPR with the assistance of the 911 operator and he was taken to a local hospital via ambulance. There is no cause of death and an autopsy will be performed. Sean and I just completed our yearly physicals about 3 weeks ago and we were both in good health. Sean did not have any sort of drug abuse issues and I’m still in a state of disbelief. I can’t begin to comprehend how my life and the lives of Seans close friends and family have just been shattered.

That’s about all I’d like to share at this point. It feels strange to even have to make this post over such a private matter but I understand Sean was a public figure and beloved by many around the world. For myself, Seans family and close friends I ask that you please give us time to grieve. The fans he adored so much lost an influence and phenomenal drummer. Some of us lost our Husband, Son, Brother, Uncle and Best Friend.

Thank You,

-Tom & Patti (Seans husband and Seans sister)

Sean Reinert formed Cynic with Paul Masvidal in 1987. They released a few demos and eventually their classic 1993 debut album Focus, before breaking up in 1994. They reformed in 2006 and released two more albums and two EPs with Reinert, before Reinert departed the band in 2015.

Reinert and Masvidal also both joined Death for the recording of that band’s massively influential 1991 album Human, which is widely regarded as a pioneering album in the technical death metal subgenre, thanks in no small part to Reinert’s drumming.

Reinert and Masvidal also formed the band Æon Spoke together in 1999, and they both also spent time in Gordian Knot. Reinert also played in Aghora and other projects, and most recently he played in the band Perfect Beings who released their first album with Reinert, Vier, in 2018. As recently as this past fall, he was posting pictures of session work he was in the midst of.

Update: Paul Masvidal initially responded to the news with a blacked out Instagram post but he has now posted a lengthy statement to the Cynic Instagram:

I am shocked and saddened by the loss of one of my oldest friends. We were karmic brothers, connected by something beyond both of us. So many memories have been flooding my heart and mind. From the moment I first met Sean in junior high school, I knew we had a connection. His gifts were beyond measure, and I’m grateful that we were able to make music together. In the end, all that remains is love, and that’s what I have for Sean. There will never be another one like him. Peace to his family and all of his fans around the world. Listen to Sean play his drums and hear his heart sing.

Rest in peace to one of the most important death metal drummers who ever lived. Watch some drum cam videos of Sean below…

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