Kelly McLauchlin

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Kelly McLauchlin
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BornSeptember 1968 (age 53)
CitizenshipUnited States of America
Alma materUniversity of Delaware
Known forKnown as the founding member of Pessimist
Musical career
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  • Death Metal
  • Thrash Metal
  • Musician
  • Songwriter
  • Guitar
  • Saxophone
Years active1982–present
Associated acts
  • Pessimist
  • Diabolic
  • I Am Morbid
  • Possessed
  • Unholy Ghost
  • Angelcorpse
  • Hirax

Kelly McLauchlin (born September 1968) is an American guitarist. He is best known as the founding member of Pessimist.[1][2] Kelly has performed live in several other notable Death Metal bands, including I Am Morbid, Possessed, Angelcorpse, Diabolic, and Unholy Ghost.[3][4]

Early life and education

Kelly started playing Guitar at the age of 14, but had played Saxophone since age 9, performing in grade school concert and Jazz band, where he learned to read music and later studied Music theory. His early Guitar influences include Jimi Hendrix, Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, and Judas Priest. After finishing high school, he attended University of Delaware as a Classical Guitar Major, with instructor Christian Taggart.


Early Years

After moving to Los Angeles in 1989, Kelly joined Santa Ana, CA thrash band Resistance, a band which also featured Eddie Bravo.

In 1992, Kelly was a part of Florida underground metal band Cauldron – which also featured Matt Barlow, who later joined Iced Earth.[5]


Kelly recorded Pessimist demos as early as 1989, however the first full band lineup would not be formed until 1993 in Baltimore, MD 1993.[6]

Pessimist signed to Lost Disciple Records in 1997 and released three albums. “Cult of the Initiated” (1997) is the first full length album.[7]

Second is “Blood For the Gods” (1999) – which charted in the Top 30 on the CMJ “Loud Music” Charts.[8]

The third album “Slaughtering the Faithful” (2002), which was recorded in Tampa, FL with producer Erik Rutan, of Morbid Angel/Hate Eternal.[9]

The fourth CD, "Evolution Unto Evil" which featured tributes to Kreator, Death, Megadeth, and Possessed was mastered by Juan "Punchy" Gonzales, (Morbid Angel, Terrorizer) and was released on Pathos Productions/Deathgasm Records in 2008.[10][11]

Pessimist reformed in 2013 with an updated lineup which included bassist Kelly Conlon (Death, Monstrosity, Vital Remains).[12] Soon after the group released a single, "Keys to the Underworld" in 2018, which also featured drummer Kevin Talley (Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Chimaira).

Unholy Ghost

In 2003 it was announced Kelly would join Diabolic.[13] Amidst legal battles for the name, this lineup would actually form a new band, Unholy Ghost.[14] Unholy Ghost released “Torrential Reign” CD on Olympic / Century Media Records.[15]


In 2007, Kelly joined the newly-reformed Diabolic recording guitar solos on the Possessed by Death EP, and Excisions of Exorcisms CD in 2010. In 2009 Diabolic completed a run of East Coast tour dates with Cannibal Corpse for their "Evisceration Plague" tour.[16]


Kelly briefly toured with Angelcorpse as live guitarist for their “Lucifer and Lightning” West Coast Tour in June, 2008.[17]


In Feb 2011, Kelly joined the newly-reformed Possessed.[18] Kelly completed several US and European tours 2011–2013 with Possessed, including festival appearances at Hellfest in Clisson, France on June 17th, 2011.[19] Then Graspop 2012. Next they performed at Neurotic Deathfest in May 2013 and the Barge to Hell cruise.[20] Kelly contributed music to the first new Possessed material in 20 years, which the band would debut on their "European Seance" tour, in 2013.

I Am Morbid

In 2019, Kelly joined I Am Morbid, a band featuring David Vincent (Vltimas, Morbid Angel), Tim Yeung (Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal) and Bill Hudson (U.D.O, Doro, Trans-Siberian Orchestra).[21][22]

Collaborations and Session Work

Kelly has done session work with other bands, most notably recording guitar solos for Horror of Horrors “Rust, Flesh, Dust”, which featured drummer Kevin Talley (Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Chimaira).

Other bands Kelly has performed live with include Eliminate, featuring original Dark Angel vocalist Don Doty.[23] Equinox from Florida.[24] Kelly also worked as a Session Bassist for HIRAX in 2018–2019.

Kelly is contributing to "Metal Against Coronavirus" Project in 2020 with Pat Shea of the band Master among other prominent metal musicians.


Currently endorsed by SIT strings, and Seymour Duncan Pickups.


Jackson Guitars USA Custom Shop Kelly Star. This is featured on the cover of Jackson Guitars annual catalog in 2000.

Jackson Kelly KE2.


Mesa Boogie Simulclass 2:90 Power amp.

Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier guitar head and four matching Mesa Boogie 4x12 cabinets (which previously belonged to Brian Hoffman, of Deicide).

Effects and Accessories

Kelly currently uses Fractal Audio Systems Axe-FxII and AX8.



  • Cult of the Initiated (1997, Lost Disciple Recs)
  • Blood For the Gods (1999, Lost Disciple Recs)
  • Slaughtering the Faithful (2002, Lost Disciple Recs)
  • Evolution Unto Evil (2008, Deathgasm/Pathos Prod)
  • Keys to the Underworld (Single) (2018, Purgatory Prod)


  • Possessed by Death (2007, Deathgasm Recs)
  • Excisions of Exorcisms (2010, Deathgasm Recs)

Unholy Ghost

  • Torrential Reign (2004, Century Media/Olympic Recs)

Horror of Horrors

  • Blood, Fangs, and Foulness: The Complete Cursed Chronicles (2011, Thrash Corner Recs)
  • Rust, Flesh, Dust (2017, Independent)

Black Mass

  • Voices of Fate (2003, Primitive Recordings)


  • "Megaded - A Tribute to Megadeth" (1999, Dwell Records), covering the song "Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good"
  • "Tribute to Kreator" CD (1999, Full Moon Prod.), covering the song The Pestilence
  • "Demonic Plague - Tribute to Death" (Dwell Records, 2000), covering the song "1000 Eyes"
  • Unholy Ghost / Serpent Son Split "Soul Disment / Demo 666" (2017, Purgatory Prod)

Collaboration and Guest Sessions

  • "Metal Against Coronavirus" Project (2020)

In the media



  1. "Shorts". Metal Maniacs. 15 (5): 56. October 1998.
  2. Rytkonen (photos by Frank White), Spider and Marty (January 1999). "Milwaukee Metalfest XII". Metal Maniacs. 16 (1): 60, 61, 81.
  3. BraveWords. "PESSIMIST / Ex-POSSESSED Guitarist KELLY McLAUCHLIN Replaces IRA BLACK In I AM MORBID". Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  4. Blabbermouth (2019-04-01). "I AM MORBID Parts Ways With Guitarist IRA BLACK, Announces Replacement". Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  5. Weighill, Rob; Gaub, Florence (2018-10-01). "The Cauldron". doi:10.1093/oso/9780190916220.001.0001. ISBN 9780190916220.
  6. Barbieri, Marco (October 1996). ""Firing Squad" Demo Reviews". Metal Maniacs. Vol13. #4: 55–57.
  7. Barnhard, James. "Pessimist". Pit Magazine - Extreme Music Magazine. 22: 45.
  8. Kite, Mikah (1999). "Pessimist". Pit Magazine - Extreme Music Magazine. 39: 27.
  9. Elaine, Rawlings (Summer 2002). "Pessimist". Pit Magazine - Extreme Music Magazine. 39: 51.
  10. Blabbermouth (2008-07-18). "PESSIMIST To Release 'Evolution Unto Evil' In August". Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  11. Roemers, Wouter. "Pessimist". Masterful Magazine. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  12. Blabbermouth (2013-10-13). "Former POSSESSED, DEATH, ANGELCORPSE Members Unite To Reform PESSIMIST". Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  13. "Diabolic split with guitarist announce replacement". Retrieved 2020-05-28.
  14. "Former Diabolic members launch Unholy Ghost". Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  15. "Unholy Ghost set release date for Torrential Reign". Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  16. "Diabolic added to Cannibal Corpse shows". Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  17. "Angel Corpse Adds Second Guitarist". Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  18. "Possessed: new lineup unveiled". Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  19. "Possessed footage from France Hellfest posted online". Retrieved 2020-05-28.
  20. "POSSESSED Working On New Music; 'Barge To Hell' Performance Footage Posted Online". Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  21. "I AM MORBID Parts Ways With Guitarist IRA BLACK, Announces Replacement". April 1, 2019. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  22. "PESSIMIST / Ex-POSSESSED Guitarist KELLY McLAUCHLIN Replaces IRA BLACK In I AM MORBID". April 1, 2019. Retrieved 2020-05-28.
  23. "Former DARK ANGEL Singer DON DOTY Is Back With New Lineup Of ELIMINATE". April 3, 2017. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  24. "EQUINOX Rejoined By Guitarist KELLY MCLAUCHLIN". May 15, 2007. Retrieved 2020-05-27.

External links

This article "Kelly McLauchlin" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.