| Sputnikmusic
 

It’s with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Brandon Scott (aka TheSpirit), a longstanding member of the Sputnik community who lost his battle with addiction. Brandon was a member of Sputnik for over thirteen years, over which time he wrote frequently as a site Contributor and made an indelible mark on the site with his kindness, wit and unquellable positivity. He wrote prolifically across the internet for a variety of platforms, significantly InvisibleOranges, and was a talented musician involved in active creative projects. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family. If you are able to, please consider contributing to his funeral expenses here.

We have compiled a short list of testimonials below; please feel free to share any of your own in the comments (or contact us via sowingsputnik@gmail.com if you would like to be included in this piece):

***

Though we were never close, I remember Brandon from my earliest days on Sputnik, and of all the people I’ve come across online, he was easily one of the best-humoured, affable and, no matter the scenario, room-brightening. The longer I spent on Sputnik, the more amazed I became at the way he maintained a cheerful spirit, brought the best out of everyone around him, faced personal hardships with vast openness and optimism, respected mutual differences, never took himself overly seriously, and yet – perhaps above all – did what he loved with total dedication without losing his heart to it. I know how much I have to learn from all this. He came across as authentic and grounded at every turn, and had such a natural levity that it was never anything less than a pleasure to interact with him. I’ll miss his charm and banter, his constant indirect reminders of what the important things are and how to hold onto your best self. –JohnnyoftheWell

 

I didn’t know Brandon well, but I’ve been on this site long enough to know that when I saw “TheSpirit” in a thread, I was dealing with a gentleman of good musical taste, and, even more importantly, one of the more gentle and kind souls amidst our rowdy bunch. There isn’t much else for me to say besides a hearty “RIP”, and to offer condolences to all who knew Brandon. Sput has lost a good one. –Sunnyvale

 

Brandon’s presence on Sputnik was iconic; it’s safe to say that anyone who used the site for a considerable length of time between 2009 and 2022 knew who “TheSpirit” was. As a general user on this site, I considered him a friend – we arrived here within one year of each other, so you might say that we “grew up” on Sput together. He was always kindhearted and level headed, someone who I felt I could approach at any time for any reason. As a music critic, I admired his taste and skillful prose…he knew the metal genre better than most on this site and could express his opinions exceptionally well. As a moderator, I felt (and still do feel) that he exemplified the ideal citizen while bringing out the best in many of us. Although I’ll never have the pleasure of meeting him in this lifetime, I’m grateful for every occasion in which our online paths crossed over the past thirteen years. He was a true class act, and his absence will always be felt in this community. Rest in peace, legend – I’ll catch you on the other side. –Sowing

 

A stalwart defender of the underground metal scene, Brandon was one of the guys I would turn to if I was in need of some raw, completely obscure black metal – a reflection of his peculiar but often-times spot-on ability to find something in the nothingness of the metal underbelly. What was also spot-on was his absolutely genuine love for music and his desire to share that love with a larger community – and a prolific sharer he was. I was fortunate enough to be one of the first contributors to his blog Pervert the Church (back when blogger was king), fortunate enough to have spent many an hour shit posting in various threads with him, fortunate enough to refine my writing alongside him, but above all I was fortunate enough to call him a friend. The Sputnik community lost one of their most genuine, honest, and caring writers today, and for that we should all be devastated – when his last comment on this website is shitting on Bon Iver and Animal Collective, I don’t know how you can feel anything but sadness to have lost such a mind. I hope you’re jamming the new Arizmenda album, wherever you may be. –Crysis

 

It seems like TheSpirit (Brandon) had been part of Sputnikmusic for as long as the site itself. His reviews were always interesting to read, and a few users including myself even ended up praising his review for an Ulver album on the thread for my new review, and he popped in to express his appreciation for the kind words. I never had the pleasure of meeting him in real life, but we connected online through Sputnikmusic and social media apps as well. He seemed like a lovable and nice guy who would always have some knowledge or encouraging words to share. He will be missed by all of us. –TalonsOfFire

 

Brandon a.k.a. TheSpirit was one of the names on this site I would immediately associate with an engaging, fun, and witty exchange of posts. I just loved his presence, and even though I didn’t know him personally, I could sense the great person that was behind his avatar. We shared great moments here, I remember he was one of the few users I could go on and on with about the hair metal days and I would always look up to him in regards to black metal, nobody knew the genre better than him. Maybe it’s time to fulfil that promise that we made to each other last year, when Lamp of Murmuur released that hell of a gothic BM album that became our little secret, Brandon! Wherever you are, I know you’ll stay with us for the ages, as the legend you have become. We’ll miss you, brother. –Dewinged

 

Ever since joining Sputnik, hearing anything about ‘…the spirit’ has caused me to think of an incredibly kind and knowledgeable writer rather than a mid Bring Me The Horizon album. Being able to touch an absolute stranger’s life in such a way speaks volumes of what Brandon must have meant and continue to mean to those close to him. Rest in peace, you are missed by everyone who has ever seen your name pop up anywhere. –Jesper

 

Brandon will always be someone I remember as an unparalleled champion of music. He always had an obscure lofi black metal album no one else was talking about at the ready to fling out at anyone willing to listen. When he got his teeth in something he’d scream it from the mountaintops forever. This has been true of him for every one of the years I’ve known him, back when we were just sputnik users to every social battleground on the wide web today. Underground extreme music has lost one of its great heroes, whether it knows it or not. –Gameofmetal

 

There’s not really a widely-recognized cultural norm for the kind of relationships most of us share on here. Most of us will never meet, and because the vast majority of our interactions are online, we have more control over what we decide to share and how we can dress our interactions. I’ve been on this site for 15 years, and have been theacademy for 13 of them. I have spent every one of those 13 years as theacademy interacting with TheSpirit and I have to say that he was someone who made this place better. What he shared – his name (Brandon), his opinions on music (a love for metal and a voice as a reviewer that really carried that torch), and his personality (a friendly, mostly polite, funny dude) – has gone a long way to keeping this community a place that weirdos like me keep coming back to. It says a lot for two people to do anything consistently for over a decade – remember that. Even if it’s just the occasional comment or shoutbox exchange, the bullshit that happens on here matters a lot, at the core of our souls, and Brandon was a testament to that. –theacademy

 

I’m not the most interactive person when it comes to chatting with other users on Sputnik, it’s definitely one of my downfalls, but Brandon was always one of those dudes you gravitated towards – it was impossible not to. His taste in music mirrored mine quite a lot, and over the years he was very supportive when it came to writing my own reviews. TheSpirit was a very intelligent guy and he is an immense loss to this site; both in critiquing music with his writing prowess, or just being a super-cool guy to talk to in threads. I’ll miss his presence in the Breaking Benjamin and Burzum threads in particular, as he brought an immense amount of energy to the discussion of albums he was passionate about. Rest in peace Brandon. –DrGonzo

 

Brandon was a one of a kind human cheat code. As a person, he was kind, thoughtful, funny and unpredictable. As a writer, he was prolific, professional, passionate, curious and all-encompassing. Everyone has talked about how sweet he was, and it’s all true. He could pull anybody out of their shell with his smile and wit. But, I think just as importantly, he was uncompromising; his tough love was tough and it was love. He was majorly supportive of me at a low point and never once babied or pitied me, and wasn’t afraid to say blunt shit that needed to be said. It made him a real and reliable friend. His status as an icon in multiple music communities is easy to see: he has been beloved and influential for years, probably more than he would have ever guessed. His passing leaves the world a lot darker, and that’s him to the end: metal as fuck. Rest in peace friend. –Slex

 

There’s not a lot I can add to the messaging to those touched by Brandon’s reach, and he most certainly had that. In a world of internet toxicity, throw-away lines in place of communication Brandon surpassed the usual levels of ‘internet friendship’. While most in my scope would know Brandon by his handle TheSpirit they would first recognise how he championed life, championed music. For those around the hallowed halls and occasionally dusty servers of Sputnikmusic would see some obscure blackened metal ascend from the underground into relevant conversation, we all knew without looking that it was Brandon that would unabashedly raise it, two-handed, with adoration and love. Brandon loved music, and if an album or band found themselves in his sights they were certainly in good hands. I’ll never forget his whippy remarks, nor his funny and kind nature nor his prolific as a reviewer, never seeking praise or feeding ego. TheSpirit is an ethos of information and support, an under the radar prodigy, always humble but willing to learn from experience. Never forget, it was Brandon who hi-jacked Bring Me The Horizon’s sound-off page with a That is NOT the spirit, I am TheSpirit and just about touched every corner of this site during his prolific tenure.

I’ve never met Brandon, certainly not face to face, nor did I ever shake the man’s hands. But his messaging felt like an embrace, arms outstretched and caring. Brandon cared about music, about people and provided support in whatever form was available. More personally and ever so recently I’d remember him casually messaging me about my sick child’s progress. He didn’t owe me this level of care, didn’t need to check in every other week to see how I was coping, how my family was doing – always with a kind grace and warm regards. Unfortunately, it would often take me days to write back, life’s busy. But if there’s a message here it’s send that message tonight – – don’t wait til the morning. Take the embraces from people like Brandon who reached out. Forever missed, never forgotten. –Gnocchi

 

Brandon was a genuinely kind and down to earth person. His passion for music was contagious. His presence on this site had an immeasurable impact on me and most anyone who was active in the 2010’s. He was an exceptional writer with an incredible knowledge on almost everything related to metal. He undoubtedly helped mold the music tastes of many a Sputniker over the years. We quickly became very close friends and that friendship spanned over a decade. The memories of going to concerts with him, staying up late talking about our favorite bands, and lifting each other up in difficult times will stay with me forever.

Rest peacefully, brother. Hope you’re shouting at the devil. –Maniac!





zaruyache
10.29.22
Excellent piece.

mkmusic1995
10.29.22
Very lovely tribute. RIP Spirit

Odal
10.29.22
Wow, what a loss. I have been on sputnik for over 14 years and his name is one of those that has been a longtime staple of the site, up there with the likes of Sowing or even Cocaine, if you'd like a throwback. While I've spent almost my entire time on this site as a lurker, I can dimly echo the sentiments here in saying that his discourse was always thoughtful and the man had impeccable taste. I checked out more than a few records over the years thanks to his praises. I hope he is at peace and knew a fraction of the impact he's had on this site for the better from his tenure here. Rest easy.

Mort.
10.29.22
r.i.p

GreyShadow
10.29.22
this was beautiful. i'm not heavily involved in interacting with you guys to any major extent but becoming, even if only slightly, more active in the past like 5/6 years or so has really shown me just how much of a community we are and a great one at that. it was Spirit I believe who had the first 5 rating for DGD's Mothership and that's what got me as hyped as I was for that album. I hope I'm not making this up but I remember a comment from him post-hearing the leak that Frozen One was one of their best. Low and behold, upon hearing that same shitty leak for the first time, my first thought was that he was right. it's the small things. people can just say whatever online and it can just end up brightening up someone else's day (unfortunately the opposite is true but let's keep this positive). those DGD threads won't be the same without you man, huge RIP

Calc
10.29.22
wow this is sad. RIP to TheSpirit

Pon
10.29.22
Among the most down-to-earth people Sput will ever know. Rest in peace.

vult
10.29.22
huge loss to the community, loved when he showed up in threads. seeing his name always meant something to me when talking music on here because i knew he was so passionate.

Uzumaki
10.29.22
Rest In Peace, Brandon.

Inveigh
10.29.22
Thanks for posting this and all that contributed. Brandon was an amazing person and made an impact on everyone who knew him. Devastated is an understatement and not really ready to let go of that feeling yet. I wish he could know how truly beloved he is.

Maniac!
10.29.22
Thank you for doing this.

onionbubs
10.29.22
beautiful words y'all

Gnocchi
10.29.22
That emeritus status so ever worthy. Touching work.

DinosaurJones
10.29.22
Damn, man, RIP. Every interaction I had with him was a delight. Such a bummer.

random
10.29.22
Rest In Peace, Brandon.

ArsMoriendi
10.29.22
Damn

Good writeups

RIP

Muzz79
10.29.22
TheSpirit is definitely an iconic personality round these parts and he’ll be missed. I only knew him the last year or so but was always a positive likable dude. And his love for metal music and support for it I know well. I feel sad for him personally going so soon, and his family and friends. RIP
Nice tributes staffers

Teal
10.29.22
Thank you all for sharing your stories about TheSpirit. He truly was a cornerstone of this site. Rest In peace, Brandon.

Slex
10.29.22
This is a nightmare and a tragedy but it has been healing to see all the love here and elsewhere

Love all of my Sput family

pizzamachine
10.29.22
TheSpirit was like a closely guarded secret, when I chatted with him I didn’t want to chat with anyone else. He had opinions but wasn’t rude about them, he was calm, level headed, and kind. At times I wanted to quit Sputnik, but I always said to myself, “At least TheSpirit is still around”. In a sea of toxic internet negativity TheSpirit was like a god among men. He carried the heart of Sputnik and it’s so depressing that I’ll never see him pop up again. Sputnikmusic may continue on but it will never feel the same for me.

evilford
10.29.22
This is great. Beautiful words, thoughts, feelings and lasting impressions in the foreground of a tragedy. Thanks for doing this, rest in peace brother

unclereich
10.29.22
beautiful gesture, I hope his family sees this.

MyNameIsPencil
10.29.22
R.I.P.

manosg
10.29.22
Rest In Peace, Brandon.

DavidYowi
10.29.22
Rest In Peace

TheNotrap
10.29.22
Rest in peace Brandon

dedex
10.29.22
Thanks for this boys, that was beautiful. Rest in peace Brandon

Kompys2000
10.29.22
Beautiful words all, this is a hard, heavy loss for Sputnik. When you think of that signature Sputnik wit, that passion for music and eagerness to share in that passion with other, odds are you're thinking of theSpirit. Take this as an opportunity to peruse his absolute treasure trove of a reviews page, and remember how lucky we've been to have such a standup fella putting so much work and care into our little community

someone
10.29.22
:(
:(

MiloRuggles
10.29.22
Very hard RIP. Hard to really know somebody online, but it speaks volumes that I never saw him as anything but friendly on a site that can be quite confrontational. Thoughts going out to his family. Nice words team, stay safe all

Sunnyvale
10.29.22
Nice tribute, RIP!

DePlazz
10.29.22
RIP

Rastapunk
10.29.22
Damn, this hits hard.

RIP Brandon, it was a pleasure discussing music with you !

Willie
10.29.22
Beautiful tribute, Staff. I'm not good with putting expressions of emotions into words, but I'm definitely feeling it too.

Mongi123
10.29.22
Dang man terrible news. I always liked Spirit. RIP I hope you’re resting my friend 😢

Ecnalzen
10.29.22
Glad this was put together. Very touching piece

beefshoes
10.29.22
RIP.

sonictheplumber
10.29.22
RIP bro

anarchistfish
10.29.22
"At times I wanted to quit Sputnik, but I always said to myself. At least TheSpirit is still around"

Can relate

anarchistfish
10.29.22
He was really the counterbalance to the general elitism. The whole time I've been here. I've only had great interactions with him in 12 years and now I wish I'd had more.

Thalassic
10.29.22
RIP Brandon

BitterJalapenoJr
10.29.22
Awful news. I didn't know him but from the relatively short time I've been here, it was obvious how important he was to the fabric of the site. A mighty fine writer too. RIP Brandon.

FearThyEvil
10.29.22
Man, it hurts to read this news. I can't say I ever shoutboxed him or talked a lot, however any interaction with him was massively pleasant and was always a joy seeing him in threads or chatting when we did. If he entered a thread you knew it'd be good and was always a kind person! It's so sad to see stuff like this. R.I.P. Brandon, you deserved better

SitarHero
10.29.22
Funeralopolis earlier this year and now TheSpirit. Both Brandons were among the best people on this site. Full of positivity and genuine love for music. Rest in Peace.

botb
10.29.22
Seems like it’s always the nicest guys this shit happens to, very nice piece staff, RIP

joitp
10.29.22
RIP Brandon :(

jlsg
10.29.22
Rest in Peace

necropig
10.30.22
RIP

Wildcardbitchesss
10.30.22
RIP

BallsToTheWall
10.30.22
Hard, hard F!

neekafat
10.30.22
oh my god no

LunaticSoul
10.31.22
RIP and a hug to the entire collective sput community. Sad to lose one of us, addiction is a bitch.

SteakByrnes
10.31.22
I'm gonna miss Brandon, he was always such a kind and friendly guy all over the site and I considered him a great friend. RIP brother

MO
10.31.22
RIP Brandon. One of the first users that made me feel at home here back in the day m/

XingKing
10.31.22
Wonderful tribute. RIP.

BallsToTheWall
10.31.22
It hurts he’s not here to celebrate Halloween.

Slex
10.31.22
[2]

Had literally just started Star Wars The Old Republic earlier in the week because we were always geeking out about Star Wars, I was looking forward to talking about it with him :/

Emim
10.31.22
Rest easy, buddy. You will be remembered.

BigTuna
10.31.22
Rest well Spirit. What a loss.

Keyblade
10.31.22
RIP brother, you were one of the realest this site has ever seen and embodied the best qualities of this site; being passionate about music and sharing that passion in constructive and enriching ways

Minortimbo12
11.02.22
The best way to commemorate him. Didn't know him well at all, since I'm pretty know, but every thread I've seen him in he was a very kind and gentlehearted person.

Slex
11.10.22
Wish he was here to listen to the new He Is Legend album with :(

pizzamachine
11.10.22
Missing him hard.

rafalafa
11.11.22
I’ve been lurking this site for as long as TheSpirit, and while I didn’t know him personally his music taste closely aligns with mine and I always valued his opinion and input. RIP my friend, you will be missed.

SitarHero
11.11.22
Fuck. Today's Brandon's birthday.

pizzamachine
11.11.22
Gonna jam Breaking Benjamin hard.

Maniac!
11.12.22
Happy birthday, brother.

Emim
11.12.22
Just saw that on fb, damn. New He Is Legend basically dropped on his b day

ChoccyPhilly
11.13.22
Unbelievable to hear, RIP to a good man. Funny what this site can do to bring random people together who have never met but at times like this it's nice to have a memory of our interactions

Essence
11.14.22
just found out, man, what a loss. brandon was such a vibrant guy, really going to miss his presence here and elsewhere

Slex
11.21.22
Not a day has gone by where I don't think about Brandon when I lay my head down at night to sleep. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always there, and he always will be


Surtur
11.21.22
Oh man I've only just seen this. I can't say I knew him well but I will always remember him as being one of the nicest and most welcoming guys on here, with absolutely great taste to boot. What a horrible horrible loss.

Rest in peace Brandon, you'll be sorely missed.

AsleepInTheBack
11.22.22
Also only just seen this. That's awful. Didn't know him well but incredibly nice from the few interactions we had. Amazing writer too. Rip.

DungeonBoy
11.22.22
Absolutely awful news, I had no idea he battled with addiction as I did not know him on a personal level. He was always someone I very much admired on this site and had a lot of great conversations with him about all things metal. RIP hard, this one definitely got me.

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