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Cynic - Carbon-Based Anatomy CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.97 | 106 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars With this EP, Cynic continues their musical progression.

Another step from their metal roots, there's really none to be found here...and that is A OK. This is atmospheric, ambient progressive rock though there is still some heaviness, in a Cynic way and it still does sound like Cynic. Especially in the bass and drum work. As always the bass playing of Sean Malone is prominent and superb. Sean Reinert, (one of my favorite drummers) hits another home run here. His skittery, jazz infused drumming is sometimes light and spacious or pounding, but always perfect.

The guitar work of Paul Masvidal is notably different from past efforts. No longer is it heavy and at the forefront, but much lighter and soundscape style. At first I couldn't even tell there was guitar for some of it. Never taking the lead but just another instrument, another piece of the puzzle, that fits in to make the whole thing work. Lots of different sounds, not aggressive any more but atmospheric. Melody was never an issue of course with Masvidal and there is even still a solo or two to show off still!

The other huge change I noticed, also with Masvidal, is the robovox are gone! I could always put up with them, (at least enough) but I really did not like the robot vocorder type thing he did. Not sure if he never thought he could sing cleanly, didn't want to but regardless they have been dropped, and his voice is beautiful. Soaring and lovely, some I know have made fun of it for sounding "indie" (whatever that means) or for just being funny, but all a matter of opinion and I love them. A pleasant surprise from Masvidal on vocals.

The music is light, warm, textured and dense but without being pulverizing. The song structures are progressive, but not as strictly composed as many, but more drifty. Mixed in with the songs are some segues that extremely ambient and tribal sounding, topped with hauntingly beautiful female vocals. Very cool, very moving. The whole album moves perfectly, it all flows together like one large song.

The only real knock I have on this EP is that it's too short! I know, it's only and EP but still it's only 23 minutes, and the music is so moving and well done it's over before you realize it. It leaves me wanting so much more. If Cynic's next album is a longer version of this, (done just as well) it will be a masterpiece.

Great piece of music, I recommend everyone try this beautiful work of ethereal rock.

Four Stars

JJLehto | 4/5 |


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