Sean Malone, the longtime bassist of prog-metal act Cynic, has died at the age of 50. Cynic guitarist and bandleader Paul Masvidal announced the death on Wednesday (Dec. 9) in a message on social media.

Malone performed full-time as Cynic's bass guitarist since 2012, last appearing on their most recent album, 2014's Kindly Bent to Free Us, but his history with the group goes even further back. Malone famously contributed bass and Chapman stick to the outfit's two other primary studio efforts, Focus (1993) and Traced in Air (2008).

In addition, Malone released a solo jazz fusion album in 1996 titled Cortlandt. His discography further includes work with Gordian Knot, Aghora, OSI, John Wesley, James LaBrie and many others.

"I learned today that Sean Malone has died," Masvidal writes. "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."

Other musicians also paid their respects following the news of Malone's passing, including drummer Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo, the Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater) and Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick.

Portnoy calls Malone 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."

Skolnick adds that he'd "only met #SeanMalone once or twice but respected him as a serious musician, underrated & with uncommon diversity. It's unfortunate #Cynic is so overlooked, occupying a space that's like a subgenre within subgenres (the prog/alt side of 90s death metal) RIP."

Malone's cause of death has not been made public at this time.

The bassist is the second Cynic member to die this year. In January, founding drummer (and former Death member) Sean Reinert died at the age of 48. Kindly Bent to Free Us was also Reinert's final Cynic album.

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