"An all-out assault of raging metal hatred that will mesmerize you with its musical complexity and torture you beyond madness with its suffocating power. Heavy as fuck and brutal to the point of being sadistic, "Cult of the Initiated" is one of the best independent label Death Metal releases to come along in quite some time. Each of the eight tracks on this sinister symphony is packed to overflowing with wicked guitar riffing, tempo changes, neck-snapping breaks and enough balls-to-the-wall speed and power to turn each and every listener into a Pessimist addict...9 1/2 Skulls!"
- David Horn SOD MAGAZINE #10
"Pessimist manhandles brutal death metal, but adds a twist with minor blackened characteristics that gives its sound a lethal dose of venom and originality. Definitely a great band proving this form of extremism doesn't have to be redundant or a carbon copy of other bands blasting a similar style."
- Marty Rytkonen METAL MANIACS
"I just want to put PESSIMIST where they belong, where the death metal elite stands proud!! The excellence of the riffs and their war-claiming spirit... The band call themselves Dungeon Metal and they have fuckin' attained their goal: the album sounds like the band was playing it directly from inside the most obscure, pestilent and deep catacomb. There are a lot of different ambients, of morbid variations, to be found along "Cult of the Initiated" but they all deal with the depressive side of existence...Nobody can ask for more to a debut album - PESSIMIST strives for an unique identity, the playing and songwriting are outstanding...buy it!!!" Rating 9.25
- David Carrascosa SIMBIOTIC ZINE #2 (Spain)
"Blending elements of both Black and Death Metal, Pessimist have delivered an album of gigantic proportions. From the opening riffs of "The Stench of Decay" it is clear that this is a band that is on a quest to prove that pure Death Metal is alive and well...the vocals are painful screams as well as some deep guttural deliveries. There are various speeds throughout, but the element of brutality never leaves. This CD is not really comparable to any one band... to put it in perspective, think of all the elements that were right with Pure Death metal, and you will find them all here. No fun, no political lyrics, no save the earth bullshit, just Death." Rating 9-1/2
- Eosforos ULTIMA COMPARATIO ZINE
"Ah, they don't make them like this anymore! 'Cult of the Initiated' put a smile on this reviewers face!! 3.5/5"
- TERRORIZER (UK)
"Wow! What can you say, it's PESSIMIST! This is one of the best death metal releases EVER! You can just feel the intensity grabbing hold of you and smacking you around. Total fucking mayhem pouring from this disc! Not only is this disc so powerful, it's got a lot of depth to it. There's 100 mph blast beats and energy, then there's the mid-range speed and low deep growling vocals. Crunchy, fast guitars and even some low grooved bass parts. There is so much to say about this album, but I'm only going to say this, buy this disc, it's fucking amazing!"
- Burt Wolf SATAN'S CANDY BASKET #3
"Man, is this band brutal or what?! Fuckin' extreme... PESSIMIST stands for extreme Black/Death Metal with a twist of originality. I was surprised by the band's sound...dramaticaly brutal and hatefull, in your face, leaving you out of breath, with only a few seconds to relax between each track...oppressive and malevolent atmospheres..PESSIMIST does have its own identity and aren't ripping off anything coming out from Norway or Scandinavia. Musically, the band is tight and in total control of the game, making "Cult..." even more interesting. Very cool material indeed."
- Remi Cote SOUNDSCAPE MAGAZINE (Canada)
"One part all-cylinders-burning Satanic death metal, one part claustrophobic, brute grindcore and a dash of black metal hatred...not an ounce of sympathy and little room to breathe. "Cult of the Initiated" attacks the senses all at once without letting up for a second...the formula is extremely brutal and extremely rhythmic. Pessimist stand out from other bands because they remain extremely tight at varying speeds and at varying degrees of complexity...all the while focusing on brutality more than you'd believe...they're practically foaming at the mouth with wrath! The songs range from mid-tempo to fast...a fine debut of ANGER METAL from Maryland's demons. Fav song: Dungeonlorde"
- Joe Headcrash HELL FROST ZINE
"I was psyched when I got this and I will be honest, I had very high expectations when I put this in. So, did it deliver? You fuckin' better believe it did! This CD may very well be one of the most lethal, sadistic debuts ever...this just fuckin' crushes all. This is some of the meanest, brutal, outright aggressive death metal I've heard in a while. Tortured vocals, barbaric pit riffs, killer production, pounding percussion assaults... nearly flawless...I couldn't sit still while reviewing this, I wanted to destroy my house! This is the soundtrack to your obliteration."
- Phil Nauman BRUTALIZED ZINE #5
"Quite an amazing album from Baltimore's Pessimist, a steamroller brew of violent spasms...it's a pure death onslaught from the beginning to the end, tinged with pleasant old-style riffings and honored with high pitched vocals, utterly beautiful and raging. Impressive, fast paced death metal. Unavoidable to be blown away!!"
- HEADFUCKER ZINE (Italy)
"I had never hear Pessimist until I got the "Cult.." album in my hands. And after I have heard it a few times now they are my new favorite band! Pessimist gives us 40 minutes of pure Black/Death Metal kick right in the face... The album is very tight and well played from the first second to the end. It's really fun to hear this kind of B/D Metal these days...Pessimist brings back the dark and heavy tunes to the music and I'm totally sold!"
- Jt SWEDISH METAL INQUISITION (Sweden)
"Dark, technical, brutal and very American death metal isn't what I like the most, but Pessimist does a pretty good job on their debut. There's a bit Immolation and Incantation here, but Pessimist are maybe a tad more brutal than the beforementioned bands. The songs are overall okay, the riffing are shredding and it's brutal enough to bury your ears."
- The Funeral Magazine (Norway)
"After hearing many good things about this band I finally got on track and picked up this band's debut full-length. It's not too bad at all. As a matter of fact, it's really good. Blackened death metal. I believe they refer to it as "Dungeon Metal" and I can most certainly see that. Really fast death metal with black-metal-esque screams to match it's heaviness. Some really heavy riffs in the vein of Cannibal Corpse sometimes. This is all out killer material. I'm definitely planning to check out their new stuff ASAP."
- Rob, LoudNet
"Pessimist [is] causing quite a stir in the underground... Venting forth dark death metal, this disc exemplifies a variety of tempo and rhythm variations... Pessimist manage to avoid redundancy from song to song and create songs with their own individuality. Songs like 'Drunk With The Blood of The Saints', 'Dungeonlorde' and 'The Stench of Decay' will demonstrate the brutality they can conjure and tastefully interject music that will remain with you...The clean guitar segments and lead guitar work compliment this disc and push Pessimist above the masses of second rate death metal mediocrity."
- UNRESTRAINED! ZINE #4
"After releasing three self-produced demos to the international underground, the stage was set for something not of this Earth, something bigger than usual, something of an unholy union. This comes to us in the form of "Cult Of The Initiated". The debut CD release by Baltimore's PESSIMIST...a healthy dose of Death/Black Metal, with killer moody pieces that segue into bombastic, destructive parts, guaranteed to sever. This is the main thing that seperates Pessimist from the rest of the clan, the way these songs fit together are incredibly natural. For one of the better Death/Black experiences of the year, join the cult and be prepared for your innocence to be defiled."
- MIDWEST METAL #17
"Wow! Killer album...complexity, structure, thick and crisp guitar tone, tempo and syncopation (one of the best features of the entire album), the delivery (very tight, very convincing), vocal styles and range (four; from spoken word to lowest grows and an abrasive screaming...), and overall quality. The band dosen't have to prattle on a mile a minute with gutter-bowl vocals; their instrumental mastery speaks for them...the sound reminded me of a hybrid between Deicide, Morbid Angel (check out the false harmonics and arrangement), Dismember, Disincarnate...mid-tempo, well-delivered, neck-snapping, unrelenting grind. There are blasts, and there are acoustics, and all the stuff in between."
- Melanie Rider NECROSIS E-ZINE
"'Cult of the Initiated' is a professionally produced entity of ripping death metal. Mix blazingly technical rhythms with varying tempos and a bass sound that actually cuts through the first rate mix. For a different angle, a definite black metal approach seeps into the excellent tracks, "Drunk With The Blood Of The Saints" and the MORBID ANGEL enhanced (the main riff to the song sounds like it belongs on "Covenant") title track. The vocal alterations (low coherent growls and high-end shrieks) between Rob Kline and guitarist Kelly McLauchlin further adds a third angle as the music levitates between ultra-destructing low end crunch and tasteful/flashy riffs that painfully contort with a subtle European flavor...pleasingly complex musical content and an evident pride in the form of death metal they're creating..."Cult of the Initiated" is a very solid venture back to a level of expertise where your average form of death metal somehow strayed from."
- Marty WORM GEAR #6
"PESSIMIST...pushed its Satanic invocations hard, rushing forward into songs like "Pyrosexual" and "Drunk with the Blood of the Saints" with breathless and constant pressure. Staying loyal to the ways of chaos, the group excels at slurred guitar trills and unpredictable tempo twists. With the seeming inactivity of New York's Fallen Christ, PESSIMIST may be the best devil's advocates on the East coast..."
- Ian COLLEGE MUSIC JOURNAL (CMJ)
"Emerging from the underground scene of Maryland, this is the first we've heard of the four-piece death metal outfit known as Pessimist, but boy, are we glad to know them. Uncompromising in its brutality, the band appropriately uses the term "dungeon metal" to describe its deep, bass-heavy fury, hacking out doom-laden riffs over merciless tempo changes. Heavy music freaks will delight in the unexpected and often brilliantly executed jams embedded within these tracks, as well as the band's knack for incorporating high-pitched black metal vocals and beats into its bottom-heavy sound. Propelled by exceptional drumming and a terrific sense of chaos, the apocalypse may be starting in Maryland with Pessimist. Get initiated with "Dungeonlorde", "Unholy Union" and "Cult Of The Initiated."
- Jackie Vendetti, CMJ New Music Report Issue: 545 - Nov 10, 1997
"Pessimist is pure sick brutality. Some of the best Death Metal I have heard in a long time. The production of this CD is great. Rob Kline's vocals are purely sick, thick and heavy. Kelly McLauchlin has a unque style of screaming back-up vocals. "Cult of The Initated" has eight (8) destuctive songs that will have you begging for more. Pessimist also has great song titles: "The Stench of Decay", "Unholy Union", "Drunk with The Blood of The Saints", "Innocence Defiled", and "Unholy Union"...purely sick & sadistic...I recommend this CD to any Death Metal fan."
- P. Hasselbrack THE INTENSE SOUNDS OF DEATH METAL
"Fuck! There are a ton of parts in here that make me shit my pants! Each song is practically choking with riffs...they are hatefully volatile. Vocals are also mixed up nicely, range-wise... no imitation...I can't find any sort of influence or rip-off...I've got to slap my forehead and say, 'Good fuckin' job!'"
- Bill Zebub THE GRIMOIRE OF EXALTED DEEDS #10
"Pessimist's "Cult of the Initiated" captures the quality that used to be so prevalent in Death Metal during the early part of this decade. In recent times, it seems like far too many Death Metal bands have either resorted to a simplified version of the modern, Swedish sound or are producing music that is brutal and nothing more. However, the members of Pessimist understand that interesting rhythms are an essential part of a satisfying work of pure Death Metal. Stylistically, "Cult of the Initiated" sounds like it was produced during the height of Death Metal. When I listen to this release, I am reminded of the rhythmic greatness of classics such as Malevolent Creation's "The Ten Commandments"/"Retribution" and Deicide's "Legion". The release is further enhanced by its inclusion of sporadic, contrasting Black Metal vocal interjections, well played solos, and a couple of acoustic guitar passages. The excellent production quality matches the quality of the music. I have no doubts that Pessimist's "Cult of the Initiated" will someday be regarded as a Death Metal classic. In the meantime, I recommend this CD as an essential acquisition for anyone who listens to Death Metal. NINE BITES ON THE NECK!"
- Ryan McCue THE KOFFIN
"Extreme mosh-pit groove, heavy speed, constant alternation between shrieks and death metal growls...wailing guitars throughout the CD...this band is definitely a killer fucking show to see live, everything combining for a brutalizing groove...the kind of energy that gets a good pit going full blast...super high-speed riffage, ear-splitting drums and freaky-freaky lyrics"
- Lord Beliar THE BLASPHEMER
"I have heard a lot of positive things about Pessimist, but this is the first time I have had chance to listen to their brand of American Death Metal. Pessimist do a mix of melodic and ultra brutal Death Metal. They are clearly influenced by the Swedish melodic Death Metal scene, but their sound are deeply rooted in the American Death Metal scene. Bands like Morbid Angel and Brutality springs to mind..."
- Lord Loch Lomond NEWS FROM THE INFESTED GRAVEYARD
(Absence of Light EP, 1995) "PESSIMIST is a band just inches away from the immeasurable heights of success. They combine pit inducing brutality with superior technicality and song writing skills. Do yourself a favor and pick up a release from PESSIMIST."
- Phil Alterman SLOTH ZINE #3
"This 10 song [Cult of the Initiated] promo from Pessimist starts out hard and never stops. The guitar work is really good and at times reminds me of Morbid Angel. The vocals change around quite a lot...the screams and howls assault you from every angle. I really recommend this one. (Ed notes: Just got the CD and it fucking rules!!!!!!!!!)"
- Howard Kolb UNDERGROUND METAL ZINE
"Aaaaargh!! Three seconds into this album's opening track, "The Stench of Decay" and you already know what this is going to be about. Totally brutal Death Metal, ala SUFFOCATION. Technical, heavy as a motherf*cker, and so violent not even the most hardened criminal would dare listen. Demonic, growling vocals, monstrously heavy, raw guitars and relentless drumming come blowing out your speakers for 37 unforgivable minutes. Now, I dislike many of the over-the-top acts currently in existence but this is one that does what they do so well they deserve all the accolades I can give them. Timing is near-perfect which precision techno-riffs and slashing drums to keep the music hateful and full of energy. Its really incredible at times and I just know that fans of SUFFOCATION and CRYPTOPSY will shit themselves over this. Brutal and worth the asking price. C'mon, don't be intimidated....
- J. Moulder THE CYNIC'S DUNGEON
"Pure deathmetal...a tremendous ground breaking release which will make your hair crawl from out of your skin. Pessimist has low growling vocals which goes down to the bottom of the relams of pure hatred and disgust... pure armeggedon...As a lighting bolt hits the ground when there is a thunderstorm, so will this release when you hear it. [Pessimist] deserves alot of recognition...they will prove to you when the ground comes crumbling down in front of you what brilliance a band can do. If you really want something that will put you over the edge, pick up this cd."
- Alyson SADISTIC 'ZINE
"PESSIMIST is exellent and very heavy. They have the ability to pound whatever peaceful mood you may have straight into the dust laden ground."
- Therion EMBRACED 'ZINE (Singapore)
(Dark Reality Demo, 93/94) "This is the heaviest fuckin' band I have ever heard to come out of Baltimore!"
- Todd Stachowski SHOCKWAVE MAGAZINE
(Let the Demons Rest Promo, 1996) "Holy shit! These guys must be drinking anti-freeze these days. This one-song demo from the Baltimore-based band [Pessimist] is simply heavy! In the vein of Deicide, "Let the Demons Rest" captures all the essentials of brutal death metal. I played this on my four-speaker system with a subwoofer and this song ripped me to pieces! The double-bass drumming made me feel as if the walls were coming down. My favorite portion of the song was the shredding middle riff that had a groove you could get whiplash from..."
- Phil Carnes THE BALTIMORE BUZZ #1
"I promise you this CD will tear shit up in a big way when it comes out! Crazy fuckin' songs and killer production too. Get this fucker as soon as it comes out. You will not regret it. This is the #1 band in my book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
- David BLOODCLOT 'ZINE
"They mix death and black metal and the result is just purely bombastic. Their debut CD "Cult of the Initiated" contains  tracks of pure brutal and original black/-death metal. In the music of PESSIMIST one can find several touches of [their musical influences] mixed together into 8 perfect songs. The "Cult of the Initiated" is a must for anyone into the brutal black/death scene!"
- Lars Jamme OSKOREI MAGAZINE (Norway)
"This album has been getting really good reviews, and I must agree with them. This release definitely deserves praise...very original vocals...definitely death metal...also black metal vocals and an assortment of shrieks and yells. Pessimist are also fine musicians. Complex arrangments, and killer solos (Let the Demons Rest) are all over this tape... the bass guitar actually sounds good...Pessimist are definitely treading new waters, and I hope they continue to follow this path with later releases."
- Mike Hochins ENGULFED IN GORE (Canada)
"Pessimist plays a dark and energetic Death Metal, with Grindcore influences and explosive vocals. Leaded by a sinister and nocturnal symbolic, their realistic lyrics open the darkest sides of our existence...officially gathered in 93, they unchain their brutal and evil Death Metal at many US gigs, together with Krisiun, Angelcorpse, Vader, Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Nile...their first full-length album "Cult of The Initiated" on Lost Disciple Records, many promising releases enriching the pure brutal Death Metal style."
- DEMONIC HORDE
FOR MORE INFO: WWW.PESSIMIST.COM -or- MYSPACE.COM/PESSIMIST