Signs of the Swarm Fire Guitarist Cory Smarsh After Sexual Misconduct Allegations Surface
Death metallers Signs of the Swarm have fired guitarist Cory Smarsh after a woman came forward with allegations of physical and emotional abuse against him late last week.
The band, who have a new album release on the horizon, took swift action, letting go of Smarsh the same day the accusations, leveled by Jesa Devir, went public.
Posting on Facebook, DeVir issued a lengthy description of the alleged misdeeds against her on Thursday, August 5, along with photos of bruises on her body and damage to the couple’s apartment. That statement reads in full:
“Cory Smarsh (Signs of the Swarm) is abusive, irregardless of the nice guy demeanor he portrays to everyone. I’ve had close friends tell me for months now that I need to bring this to light, and I’ve had some tell me that I’m protecting an abuser in the scene by being silent – that I need to go public about this to protect others. And TBH, they’re right, but it’s taken me awhile to get to the point of accepting everything that was done and to be comfortable enough to admit that I’m a victim of abuse. Early on in our relationship he even told me that he had treated a prior GF extremely bad, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he had been as abusive to her as he was towards me.
“The first time he was physically violent was Valentine’s Day of 2019, when he punched the first hole in one of the doors. The last time he was physically violent was the last night he was here, in which another door ended up with a hole (the bathroom door, because I had locked myself in there because of how he was acting – yes, I was afraid), and he also damaged a small desk that last night. His parents followed up an hour later by rubbing his back and comforting him, and they had the audacity to tell me that I was the one who needed help. They proceeded to take him back to PA with them that night, where he’s been living without a care for the past 5 months (they baby him in all regards – he doesn’t even pay his own cell phone bill at age 26). When he threw his phone against a wall and shattered it, they also rewarded him by sending him a brand new iPhone 12 Pro Max at the beginning of the year.
“The bruises he left on me were during 2020, and I stupidly believed him that he “didn’t mean it”, but I’ve become clear-headed enough at this point to understand that the warning signs were there all along and that I was blind to them due to that “nice guy” demeanor of his and due to all of his lies and manipulation. Towards the end of 2020, my then-11-year-old also reported him to DCS for physical abuse allegations; I did not see him hurt her, and I didn’t see any marks left on her, and she has falsely reported me in the past (with the urging of her biological dad, because of visitation issues), so I don’t know whether or not her allegations were true – but the fact stands that she DID report Cory to DCS for abuse. He had already destroyed the doorframe on her bedroom door by that point, which cost me $175 to replace/repair.
“The physical abuse and physical violence is easy to see, as shown (other than the broken dishes and such, not shown), but he was also mentally/emotionally abusive throughout two years of our three year relationship – and that was honestly worse for me than the physical. Manipulation, gaslighting, silent treatment, putting me down for my involvement/passion of supporting the scene (but it was okay when it was support for SOTS, of course), dismissiveness, blaming me for his actions (every single time), abandonment countless times when he knew I needed him (and when he promised to be there for specific times), dehumanizing me, et cetera. I’m honestly still not okay because of the mental/emotional abuse and I’m still trying to work through the trauma he’s caused. I honestly wish I would have listened to a therapist I had towards the end of 2020 because she indicated that he was abusive but I didn’t want to hear or acknowledge it. I also wish that I would have listened to friends at the end of 2019 and not taken him back before he moved in with me. I was stupid, and everyone close to me saw what I didn’t – love blinds you.
“For 15 months Cory lived with me and my daughter and during that time my life went from great to barely survivable. I became an alcoholic during those 15 months of living with him, I began self-harming regularly, and I became suicidal – which hadn’t been issues for me in numerous years, prior to my relationship with him. I gave up all of my passions in life and I went into hiding – I was gone from social media and in seclusion with my abuser for nearly a full year. He refused to get and hold down a job even though he’s fully capable, so I was supporting a household of three after my company closed down during COVID, all by myself while my so-called partner just sat around every single day getting high and manipulating me. No support in the least, not financially or emotionally, no matter how many times I begged for support from him.
“I bought him everything he needed, so I guess I’m partly to blame for keeping him stocked up with weed, cigarettes, vape juice, and everything else. But I also encouraged him throughout that entire time to seek professional help – which he refused to do. I offered to pay for trade schooling or other forms of education in order to help him find better paying jobs, and I gave up all of my future plans in life to try to instead focus on us relocating to PA purely for Cory, and Cory alone (for his family and band). I was taken advantage of the entire time, because of my love for him. By the end of it all, I had to pull out my 401k to keep us all afloat, and now I’m still stuck in Indiana, starting from ground zero again to rebuild my life from scratch. $600 of apartment damages to pay for due to him, and he owes me thousands outside of that – which I’ll have to sue him in civil court to collect.
“But you know what? That’s okay. The alternative would have been us finalizing the marriage together that we nearly did at the end of 2020 (had the certificate, just needed it ordained), and that would have made things even worse. I might be starting all over again, but at least I can say that I’m no longer in an abusive relationship. And even though this is the most abusive relationship I’ve ever been in, I’ve survived a lot of things throughout my life and I’ve survived this, too. I’m still working through the healing process from it, the trauma is very real, but I know I’ll get past this in time.
“For his family – I’ve told you numerous times that Cory needs professional help. Instead of further enabling his abusive behavior, I hope you realize how serious it is and that you finally assist him in getting the help he clearly needs. Cory has threatened self-harm against himself if I go public about his abuse. I do not want him to hurt himself, so keep an eye on him. It’s not my job anymore.
“For the fan boys who will deny this and try to talk shit about me – go ahead, I don’t care. None of you actually know him. I have plenty of texts from Cory in which he clearly doesn’t even try to deny his abuse towards me. I doubt he’ll try to lie about any of this, he knows there’s too much proof.
“For all of my friends who have known about all of this and been there for me in the past 2yrs – I’d likely be dead right now if not for all of you (you guys know how suicidal I got in the last year of being with him) — so thank you, for being there for me as best as you guys could be. Real friends are hard to come by nowadays, but I value all of you.”
The band released two statement on the matter, first saying:
“Due to circumstances that have been brought to our attention in the last hour, we have asked Cory Smarsh to step down from his role in Signs of the Swarm while he handles these deeply personal matters.
“We appreciate those who have reached out.
They later added:
“Everything with the band is still moving forward as planned. We do not condone this behavior at all. This entire situation is still very fresh right now for us.
“Cory is not in the band any longer. We can not speak on his behalf on what his next steps are or anything.
“Thank you everyone for understanding.”
DeVir also shared screen shots of abuse allegations by another former girlfriend of Smarsh’s, which you can read below.