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Cynic - Traced in Air CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.14 | 523 ratings

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Time Signature
5 stars Integral rebirth...

Cynic are back! And what a majestic return! While the musicianship on "Focus" was already at a very advanced level, it's at an even higher level now, as they have had some 14 years to mature as musicians and improve their performance and writing skills even more. This has resulted in a kind of short, yet very breathtaking and powerful technical progressive metal album.

The fomula is essentially the same as on "focus" - namely the use of ever-driving complex jazzy metal guitar riffs combined with crisp, and crystal clear clean guitar parts and independent bass ostinatos and Reinerts dynamic drumming adding an extra dimension that goes beyond your average rhythm section. Masvidal's high-pitched melodic vocals are less robotized than on "Focus", but they are really haunting on this one, and his first vocal lines on "The Space for This" are certain to send shivers down the spines on many a listener's back. The death growls are also back and offer a perfect foil for Masvidal's soft and fragile vocals. The songs are more fluid on this album than on "Focus" which owes to Masvidal and Reinert having naturally improved and matured as musicians over the years. Maybe it's also this fluidity that makes me think that, while "Focus" certainly belongs in the genre of exteme metal, "Traced in Air" is better described at somewhere in between progressive rock, progressive metal, and jazz fusion spiced up with elements from death metal. In any case, who cares about genre labels when the music is truly gerat?

There really is no weak track on this album (although I don't listen that much to "Nunc Fluens" and "Nunc Stans") and my favorites are "The Space For This", "Evolutionary Sleeper", "The Unknown Guest", "Adam's Murmur", and "King Of Those Who Know".

As with "Focus", I'd recommend this to any fand of Atheist and Pestilence's "Spheres" and any musically adventurous fan of progressive rock and jazz fusion.

Time Signature | 5/5 |


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