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Cynic - Focus CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.19 | 504 ratings

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4 stars What do you expect from progressive metal album?

Power and Energy. This might be one of some factors that you consider important in progressive metal music because from this factor you can get full enjoyment of the music. This would help you start the day with great motivation and if you have work to day it energizes you. I put this as first possible factor because from my discussion with many prog met and metalheads, that is the first thing thoat mostly comoe out from their mouth as an answer of the above question. If this applies to you as well, this album by CYNIC fulfills your need. All tracks presented here by CYNIC are truly songs with solid power and energy. No wonder, this band, as you might read at the band's description at this site, was intended as brutal death metal (what is this?) music. So, no question about it - if you expect power and energy, you got it. You can hear guitar riffs and licks by Jason Gobel and Paul Masvidal. They play attractive and stunning guitar work throughout the span of the whole album. On rhythm section, you can get great combination of bass by Sean Malone and drums by Sean Reinert. "Celestial Voyage" is a good representation of track with power and energy as indicated by dynamic drumming, guitar riffing and tight basslines which accompany "throaty" (I like this description!) vocal by Tony Teegarden.

Melody and Harmony. You can get these as well. Overall, this album has excellent harmony combining main rhythm section (guitar, bass & drums) with vocal line and guitar solo. What makes this band different from many other prog met bands is the way bass guitar is played which reminds me to the jazz rock fusion player : Jaco Pastorius (os Wheather Report). Looking at the fretless bass he uses, it's clear that the way he plays is something like jazz rock fusion style. The melody of almost all songs are also nice even though not as nice as Kamelot, Nightwish or Royal Hunt. Combined together all components that make up this album are excellent example of how the combination creates good harmony and melody.

How this album is different?

There is more this album offers to us: it has a significant element of jazz rock fusion music. This can be heard from the textures of each song where the fretless bass provides fusion like music during some breaks and in fact in some major segments of the song. This is truly different if we compare with any typical prog met bands. If my memory works well, this reminds me to a band called AGHORA (released in 1999) which I reviewed the album sometime ago (long time ago) at this site. "Focus" by CYNIC came out first (1994) - so it could be CYNIC is the pioneer for this type of music.


This is an excellent album. If you don't like heavy riffs of metal music, you would not be able to identify the subtleties of music this band offers. The music is a bit rough with some eerie / throaty vocal line. If you cannot accept this kind of singing style, you may not be able to enjoy this album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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