Cynic, Traced In Air, 2008
(Season of Mist)
Forgive me, reader, it has been a very long time since my last confession. My first admission is that I have not heard Cynic’s debut album “Focus”. However I had heard numerous times before making my way to the confessional booth that over fifteen years ago that they stretched the confines of death metal by adding a progressive rock touch. Now it would seem they are a progressive rock band with a pinch of death metal, a dollop of rock, a helping of jazz-fusion and a side of metal. “Nunc Fluens” opens with synthetic vocals and then bursts the album opens with a quiet guitar passage with melodic singing interspersed with drums that go from tribal to traditional rock. “The Space for This” is caked with melodic vocals; technical jazzy guitar parts that border and deathly metal growls. “Integral Birth” forces the listener to take notice of both vocal styles at once. “Adam’s Murmur opens with female sounding vocals and wrangles musical styles together with the jazz rock guitar being the song’s highlight.
The chanting during the refrains on “The Unknown Guest” gives the impression Cynic would be more at home at a Hare Krishna parade however, after several repeated listens, none of the songs on “Traced in Air” crawl into the memory banks. Despite the high level of musicianship and experimentation, listening to this album was like peeling skins off an onion as there’s yet another layer underneath but the end result is often tears and there’s absolutely no hurry to do it again.
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