Very sad news in the metal community today: Sean Malone, longtime bassist of the great progressive metal band Cynic, has passed away at age 50. Cause of death has not been revealed. Cynic leader Paul Masvidal broke the news, posting the above picture and 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. 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.

Mike Portnoy also paid tribute, writing:

Totally shocked and sad to hear of Sean Malone’s passing...he was a tremendous bass and stick player that I had the pleasure of working with many times through the years. He was my Geddy in Cygnus & The Sea Monsters, he played on the 1st OSI album w me 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

Steve Di Giorgio (Death, Autopsy, Testament, etc) wrote about Sean as well:

Saddened by the death of a bass brother. Without any hyperbole; a true legend. Sean Malone is basically responsible for an entire genre of metal bass playing. Very influential and definitively ahead of the rest of us. I met Sean during the recording of Individual Thought Patterns in Tampa FL early 1993, as he was Scott Burns' assistant. And yes, I'll take credit for getting him hooked up in Cynic. But to have someone so immensely talented flood me with compliments during the humbling and exposing process of tracking in the studio...it just pumped me up. And we went on to keep in touch and share music discoveries and amazing bass players. You didn't need to feel unworthy in his presence because he was a teacher and a motivator. A big part of my journey, a colleague and a fretless bassbro. Death is a natural part of life, but depression is a disease.

Malone played on all three of Cynic's full-length albums (1993's Focus, 2008's Traced In Air, and 2014's Kindly Bent to Free Us), as well as the 2011 EP Carbon-Based Anatomy. Earlier this year, Cynic drummer Sean Reinert died at 48.

Rest in peace, Sean.