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Guillotine - The Cynic CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.97 | 6 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Finding the right sound in progressive death metal can be a difficult thing. Achieving that perfect balance between light and heavy, or originality and tribute, is something that many bands can't quite capture nowadays. In a music scene filled Opeth emulators and Death sound-a-likes, Delhi's Guillotine has erupted with a distinct sound and sense of direction. Guillotine has found that "perfect balance" that so many music veterans still can't grasp. Considering that their youngest member is 15 years old, it's truly amazing how mature Guillotine already sounds. The Cynic is a great debut on all fronts, boasting amazing compositions, envious musicianship, and satisfying arrangements. If these guys already sound this professional, I can only imagine where Guillotine will be in the next few years. The Indian metal scene has been a force to be reckoned with in 2010, and The Cynic is just further proof of that statement. If you're a fan of progressive death metal, Guillotine is certainly a band to keep your eye on.

The music on The Cynic is progressive death metal, though there's plenty of room for eclecticism. Just listen to the jazzy organ solo in "Crave" or the arpeggiated piano in "To the Heavens" and you'll know what I mean. There's a distinct Opeth influence in Guillotine's sound, though they never sound like a clone band. The more instrumental portions of the album sound similar to that of Dream Theater, as well as the synth lines during the heavier sections. Picking a favorite song is difficult, but I've got to go with the opening number, "The Alchemy: Tears of Despair". That song just pulls you in and never once disappoints. From the breathtaking narrated opening to the beautiful ending section, everything about this song is absolutely perfect. It's also the most traditionally progressive song on the album, filled with some excellent melodic riffing and vocal harmonies. Every song is almost equally impressive, but it's most remarkable how excited the listener is after just the first track. After that opener, I'm captured for the entire duration of the album. The 46:57 playing time is marvelous - Guillotine has zero filler on the entire album. It's really nice to hear a prog metal band that doesn't fill up a CD with a 79:58 playing time, in which only half is worthwhile. All of The Cynic is spectacular, and that's one of the most respectable things about Guillotine. Another noteworthy asset is the great musicianship on all fronts. The guitar playing from Nabam Takar usually takes center stage, though it's really nice how much they've incorporated Manav Chauhan's fantastic keyboards into the mix. The vocals from Karan Nambiar are generally very strong - his clean vocals are great and his growls fit the music like a glove. The rhythm section of Rohit Bhattacharya (bass) and Kabir Mahajan (drums) is also great as they provide a rock solid foundation for Guillotine's music.

The production is rather raw, but it sounds pretty good for a self-released effort. The drums sound really powerful and the mix is very consistent throughout the album. I have no complaints here.

The Cynic is really an amazing debut by Guillotine. I could see this band gaining a large following with future releases - they have what it takes. Although this isn't an absolute must-have for casual fans of the genre, it would sit comfortably in any extreme prog metal collection. If you like Opeth and Dream Theater, I recommend picking up The Cynic sooner rather than later. 4 stars are well-deserved for this original, powerful, and impressive debut. It's safe to say that Guillotine is one of the most promising acts on the progressive death metal scene right now - let's hope for some more great music in the future!

J-Man | 4/5 |


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