Corrosion Of Conformity Drummer Reed Mullin Dead At 53
Reed Mullin, the drummer and founding member of Corrosion Of Conformity, has died at the age of 53.
The news of his passing broke last night, January 27, when COC posted a simple, heartfelt tribute on social media that read as follows:
“It’s with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to a friend, a brother and pioneer. Reed you are love and always will be. Lets all take a minute…”
Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, on February 12, 1966, Reed formed Corrosion Of Conformity at the age of 16 with guitar player Wood Weatherman (his school friend from Fifth Grade onwards) and bass player Mike Dean.
The band’s debut album Eye For An Eye followed two years and featured Eric Eycke on vocals. The singer’s departure saw the three-piece record Animosity the following year, with Dean and Mullen assuming vocal duties.
In many respects, Animosity saw Reed come into his own, his ferocious drumming style helping to define the 10 track set. A ‘crossover’ classic, Animosity would also prove to be a hugely influential album, bridging the gap between the metal and hardcore scenes.
As Corrosion Of Conformity’s sound evolved so too did Reed’s playing – a point evident on 1991’s Blind, the band’s third album and their most commercial sounding record to date where Mullin is at his most expressive.
While Reed would contribute to COC’s next three albums – the hard rock-inspired trilogy of Deliverance (1994), Wiseblood (1996) and America’s Volume Dealer (2000) — he would be absent for the following trio. His own battles with alcohol dependency began to surface at the time, and just as the band’s own direction appeared uncertain. It would take ten years before he re-joined his bandmates.
As well as returning to COC, in 2014 Mullin formed the Teenage Time Killers with Mike Dean and guitar player Mick Murphy. A supergroup of sorts, the band’s line-up saw a revolving cast of friends joining them at different times including the likes of Corey Taylor, Randy Blythe and Dave Grohl. The latter in particular was vocal about the impact that Animosity – and Reed’s playing in particular– had on him during his formative years.
In January 2018, Corrosion Of Conformity released No Cross No Crown, the first album to feature Reed in 18 years. It was met with unanimous critical acclaim and Reed appeared upbeat at the band’s future plans. His optimism was short-lived as he continued his battle with alcohol and he was forced to leave the band once again.
A remarkably instinctive player, Reed was a warm, gregarious and well-loved individual whose passing was met with an outpouring of tributes from fellow musician including Faith No More, Jamey Jasta, Sacred Reich and Metal Blade boss Brian Slagel.
Kerrang! would like to extend our condolences to the Mullin and COC families, as well as Reed’s wide circle of friends.
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