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Death metal band Pessimist came together in the city of Baltimore in 1993, and featured Rob Kline (vocals), Kelly McLauchlin (guitar, vocals), Tony Pernia (bass) and Chris Pernia (drums). Following a couple of demos and 1995's Absence of Light E.P., the group signed a deal with Lost Disciple Records for the release of 1997's Cult of the Initiated and 1999's Blood for the Gods — both albums featuring brutally uncompromising, old school death metal. Constant touring and a smattering of festival appearances during this period garnered Pessimist a modest but loyal following in the American extreme metal underground, but everything came to a halt in 1999 when ¾ of their membership defected to start a new project, later to be known as Psychotogen. Now the band's last remaining original member, McLauchlin drafted Bill Hayden (guitar), Ralph Runyan (bass, vocals) and Mick Kimock and the re-vamped Pessimist eventually returned with their third album Slaughtering of the Faithful in 2002.