Sweet Cobra

Two weeks after the passing of guitarist Matthew Allen Arluck, Chicago metallers Sweet Cobra have issued a statement on their loss and their plans moving forward as a band. "It is with the heaviest of hearts we announce that Matthew Allen Arluck passed away on November 26, 2009, after a hard-fought battle with cancer, surrounded by his loving family at their home near Seattle," the band says in its statement. "He was 39 years old."

The band expresses its "deepest condolences" to Arluck's family, friends and loved ones. "There simply are not words to express the loss we are all feeling during this difficult time," the band says. "He was a truly inspirational person and his ambition for creating music, even in the face of the obstacles that his illness and treatments brought on, was unparalleled. His passion for writing, recording, and playing shows remained steadfast until the end."

Arluck joined the band as second guitar player in 2003, during the recording of the Sweet Cobra's studio offering 'Praise.' "There was an instant musical chemistry, and a common love for records, skateboarding and good times," the band says. Arluck became a full-time member in 2004, and the Cobra started working on album number two, 'Forever.' "Mat's creativity and songwriting was an amazing thing to be a part of and we feel honored to have been able to play with him," says the band. "He was a great musician and an even better friend."

Arluck was first diagnosed in late 2004 with a rare form of stomach cancer. "Over the next few years he continued to battle his illness with a positive outlook and we continued to write music, record and play shows," the band explains. "Even during some of his sickest moments, he would be the last one sitting at the soundboard, or loading out gear after a show, or wanting to rehearse - while always having an amazing sense of humor. His tireless work ethic is an inspiration to us and he had a musical vision that was so focused."

This past spring, after the band recorded its forthcoming LP, 'Mercy,' Arluck told them he would be unable to tour because of his treatments, "but urged us to play as a trio. Upon our returning home, he continued to play with us locally throughout the summer, and mixing and mastering of the new album was completed." Another tour presented itself with Pelican, and "Mat once again was not able to join us due to his health issues relating to the spreading of his cancer. He once again urged us to continue our tour plans and wanted people to hear the music that we had created together."

Sweet Cobra plan on carrying on as a three-piece and vow to keep Arluck's memory alive through his music. "There is no doubt that this is what he would have wanted. We also have unrecorded material written with Mat that we look forward to recording this winter," the band says.

'Arluck Time: A Memorial for Mat Arluck & Benefit for Grind For Life' will be held on Feb. 4, which would have been Mat's 40th birthday, at Beat Kitchen in Chicago, with Cooler by the Lake, Deminer, Crash Course, Closing In and Sweet Cobra.

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