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Cynic - Carbon-Based Anatomy CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.97 | 110 ratings

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4 stars "Carbon-Based Anatomy" is an EP release by US progressive rock/metal act Cynic. The EP was released through Season of Mist in November 2011. Cynic is down to a trio on this release as Tymon Kruidenier (Guitars/vocals) has left the band again after a relatively short membership. The remaining members are Sean Reinert (Drums, Keyboards), Paul Masvidal (Vocals, Guitars, Lyrics) and Sean Malone (Bass). Since the release of the band's long awaited comeback album "Traced in Air (2008)", Cynic have released the "Re-Traced (2010" EP, which mostly featured re-arranged tracks from "Traced in Air" (and one new track), but "Carbon-Based Anatomy" is the band's first release with all new material since 2008.

The EP features six tracks. Three tracks are "regular" songs with vocals/lyrics, while the three remaining and relatively shorter tracks are more ambient in style. All tracks seque into each other to form a 23:01 minute long concept.

The music on the EP is pretty far removed from the technical/progressive metal of the band's first two albums. Not that those two releases don't sound very different from each other too, but "Carbon-Based Anatomy" features very little than can be labelled metal. Instead Cynic have created an atmospheric form of progressive post-rock that will probably take some time to sink in for those who crave technical playing and fusion drumming. The EP features a beautiful, melancholic and tranquil atmosphere. The music is subtle (but still occasionally more powerful) and the vocals by Paul Masvidal are soft and mellow. There is a rare fervor about his delivery that's greatly enjoyable. It's a joy to follow his development as a vocalist and on this release he adds new elements to his sound. There are quite a few harmony and choir vocals on the EP, which is not something I remember having heard before to this extent.

Initially I was a bit disappointed about "Carbon-Based Anatomy" because of the lack of metal elements, but upon repeated listens the strong vocal lines, hypnotic drumming and intriguing songwriting have ended up having a captivating effect on me and I find myself returning to the EP often for a fix of the unique atmosphere and delicate delivery. This is new terrority for Cynic and while the full EP is an enjoyable listening experience, I don't think the rest of the tracks quite reach the incredibly high standard of the title track and when I know that they can reach that high a quality, I'm spoiled enough to demand that the full EP is on the same level. We would have been talking about a 5 star masterpiece had that been the case. As it is I'd say a 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is fully deserved. I might even upgrade my rating to a full 4.5 star (90%) rating in time.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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