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Cynic - Focus CD (album) cover

FOCUS

Cynic

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.20 | 391 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
5 stars - THE Death Metal album for all people, who don't like Death Metal!?

How logical sounds this? At least THE album, which broke the boundaries of that extreme genre and created something unique, which will remain as the pinnacle of what is in technical and creative aspects possible.

Cynic, a legendary band that fused their love for Death Metal with a recent influence of Jazz/Fusion and progressive rock. The result is here, Focus is an album that was beyond it's own time, the instruments are all played perfectly and, thanks to a crystal clear production they can be all heard clearly.

Paul Masvidal and Jason Gobel give a 2 guitar lead assault to your ears, most of the moments each one is doing a different riff, and the occasional use of guitar synths are in the right place, extending the texture of the riffs or of the song itself. Paul and Jason work with other bands (most notably Death and Monstrosity, respectivelly), helped to give them experience in the Death metal field while hearing Chick Corea and Allan Holdsworth pavimented their way to the freedom and dynamics of Jazz/Fusion. Paul's robot voice just sets the mood through deep meaning and philosophical lyrics, giving the songs a more cosmic feel.

Sean Reinert plays here in a very jazzy style, in a few moments you can hear him repeating the brutality of his performance in Death's "Human" (most notably in Uroboric Forms), but most of the time his playing is filled with jazz technics and complex rhytms, which makes him one of the best drummers in the world.

Sean Malone is a bass god and shows here all his talent and creativity, sometimes using the unusual Chapman Stick, just hear his bass solo in the brilliant instrumental "Textures" to see what I'm talking about, and since his bass is high in the mix there will be no problems to experience his contribution here.

This is indeed the thinking man's album, filled with jazz influences and familiar death metal. Influences are clear, but they manage to create something completely original and unique. As an extra note, "How Could I?" is, in my opinion one of the very best songs written by a Prog/Death Metal band and is spectacular every time I listen to it. The outro solo is the perfect cap to this trip through "Focus".

This album is a classic and to be played at maximum volume. The robotic-vocals surely may not be everyone's cup of tea, but they are an important part of the fact why this album seems so unique and futuristic. Trust me, there's something to be found for any prog fan on this album!

album rating: 9.5/10 points = 93 % on MPV scale = 5/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Marc Baum | 5/5 |

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