Bob Nalbandian, whose journalism and film career chronicled the ups and downs of the heavy metal scene in print, film and online, died Friday, December 30 in Redding, California at age 58.

Nalbandian was recently diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, an aggressive, rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to a cousin.

Nalbandian began his career in his teen years as the publisher/editor in chief of the heavy metal fanzine The Headbanger in April of 1982. The ‘zine achieved national distribution and was among the first publications to profile the then-unsigned bands Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Armored Saint.

He became a regular contributor to music magazines covering the rising metal scene in California, then parlayed that into a stint working in publicity and promotion for Roadrunner Records, where he handled the efforts backing Sepultura and Type O Negative. He moved on from there to the Rhino/WEA distributed Bizarre/Straight Records.

Nalbandian became the manager for the Orange County, Calif. metal band Eden, getting them signed to a worldwide deal with Enigma/Restless Records. He was also credited with landing Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman a gig with that band.

Using his outgoing personality and networking skills, Nalbandian also sealed license deals with major international companies such as Century Media (U.S. and Europe),Roadrunner Japan, Cherry Red/Hear No Evil/Universal Music (Europe),JVC/Victor (Japan),Music For Nations (U.K.),Bandai/Apollon (Japan),Polystar (Japan) and High Vaultage/Metal 4 Muthas (Germany).

He was an early online editor and podcaster at Hardradio.com, moving on to The Shockwaves Skull Sessions podcast, which he owned and produced.

Nalbandian segued into writing, producing and directing a series of documentaries chronicling the heavy metal scene with his Inside Metal series. The first video came out in 2014 detailing the pioneers of L.A. hard rock and heavy metal. Nalbandian directed eight videos in the series, which were widely praised for their accuracy in capturing a moment in music history.

News of Nalbandian’s death spread quickly throughout the music and metal community.

Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine called Nalbandian “a music legend.”

“We will miss you terribly, Bob. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson also paid tribute. “With deep shock and sadness, we here offer our condolences for our friend Bob Nalbandian who passed today. Bob was one of the first metal historian journalists I met when I moved to LA in 1983. A true friend, fan, supporter and lover of all things heavy metal, he did so much for our community and will be deeply missed.”

No information on survivors or memorial plans was immediately available.


Source link