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Cynic - Focus CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.18 | 526 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3 1/3 Stars

A very unusual, creative, and groundbreaking debut that unfortunately is the only album by Cynic. I am sure that the band would have gotten much better than this, such as Opeth after the interesting, yet flawed Orchid.

I discovered this band by the sample here. It was from the early 90s and this song featured fretless guitar playing remnicent of Jaco Pastorius, great rhythms with unusual time signatures, funny caveman-like grunts, electronic singing, and gorgeous female vocal harmonues. I was completely hooked! I had to get this album.

Sadly, the rest of the album doesn't come close to the absolute metal masterpiece of Veil of Maya. The next songs don't sound as natural when mixing the genres and the extreme vocals (caveman growls and electronic voices) turn me off a bit. Also, melodies seem to be nowhere. However, there is a lot to enjoy. Celestial Voyage has great guitar riffing. The Eagle Nature is mellower and less brutal. Sentiment has great drumming and an unique menacing female? vocalist. I'm But a Wave to alternates beautiful sections with brutal ones in the style of Opeth. Textures is just bizarre jazz- metal with great bass playing. How Could I is one of the best constructed songs in this album and a great closer. Sadly, I just find Uroboric Forms as a bunch of shredding under unusual rhythms and I do not like it.

I expected better stuff, but it is still a terrific album. I can't think of many metal songs that come to the originality and quality that Veil of Maya achieved. That song is perfectly constructed and sounds coherent and natural (not to mention accessible despite the complexity of it). Everything is perfect in that track. Highlights: Veil of Maya , How Could I

Let Downs: Uroboric Forms

My Grade : C+

Zitro | 3/5 |


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