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Cynic - Traced In Air CD (album) cover

TRACED IN AIR

Cynic

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.14 | 407 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

IcedPorcupine
5 stars Cynic "Traced In Air" 10/10

This album...oh man this album. I have no doubt that I have easily listened to this beyond awesome LP hundreds of times; Traced In Air is truly the epitome of a perfect album. It has all the elements required for an album of its type, and hits the bar way up there for Prog albums. It has the perfect blend of partially heavy prog riffs, to lighter, easy sections with clean guitar. Cynic seemed to have everything together when writing/recording/producing this album, as the result is an incredible composition of art.

This album was released after a 12 year disbanding, and the reforming was accepted with incredible love and celebration. The material is composed of bits and pieces that the members have had adding up over the years since the release of their 1993 debut "Focus" With Traced In Air, the replacement of old guitarist found on Focus was done by Tymon Kruidenier, who does guitar work as well as death growls on this album. With so much time between releases, it is an incredible relief that Traced In Air delivered perfectly what was anticipated.

The clean vocals, done by Paul Masvidal, contain an almost un-human robotic sound to them. Accompanied occasionally by Amy Correia, doing clean back-up vocals, and Tymon Kruidenier, doing the album's death growls, the singing on this LP are done extremely well, and perfectly run along side each track. Full of emotion, the singing, unique and incredible, do an excellent job delivering the lyrics, creating the perfect atmosphere that I feel Cynic has attempted, and succeeded, in setting up. The lyrical work found throughout the album has a unique feel and sound to them, unlike most I have seen other bands produce. "I touch the string though the harp may not sing/Still I dig the sky for sun sparks to guide/Down below there's a land with an ominous hole/Dug deep in the sand of belief" lyrics found in the album's fourth track "Integral Birth" help demonstrate this; The lyrics, though definitely beautiful and smooth, hold a mysterious sound to them. I simply can't do anything but love them.

One thing I really enjoy in music, though have trouble writing in my own compositions, is effective and well placed layering. Cynic's Traced In Air does an exceedingly awesome job of this technique. The harmonies placed over the rhythmic low end in some songs, with the incredible singing to push it all beyond the line of seeing-the-earth-from-space-awesome. The kind of awesome that catches your breath and says "Hold on, you're going to really enjoy this" The work has been done with incredible skill , despite the fact that the layers are definitely not a feature of the album, but a warm fuzzy side effect of this great piece of art.

The shifts from technical to slow and simple are done with incredible finesse. Cynic truly has this technique mastered on this LP; Excellent transitioning is a great aspect to find on some of the best Prog albums, assisting in the push of Traced In Air to many of these lists. The first two tracks prove as a breathtaking example of this. "Nunc Fluens" and "The Space For This" respectfully, transition between the incredible build up that is the album's intro track "Nunc Fluens" to the start of "The Space For This" which holds on to simple and easygoing sounds Cynic has been able to show they know how to do well. Following this is a fantastic transition into the bulk of the song, which is a progressive wonder. This pattern continues without any disappointment from myself throughout the LP.

The drumming on this album is a style I love. This genre houses some incredible drumming, but the work done by original member and drummer, Sean Reinert, is above and beyond a lot of what I hear done by others. His style is unique and awe-inspiring. Additionally, it does an incredible job of flowing with the music, and can be highlighted in some sections of the album, becoming the bricks and mortar both of the album at different times. Reinert's style I find is a fantastic blend of technical and simplicity, becoming the correct style at the correct time. Every time. Additionally, I love the sound of the drums throughout the album. I can assume this is the mixing/mastering at work, however, Reinert's choice of weapon, the Tama Starclassic Performer, is a drum kit that sounds like love and fire, accompanied by the danger of electricity. So it could be arguably both an editing sound, or instrument sound, either way, it sounds amazing, and plays well with this style.

After an abundance of hours spent listening to this masterpiece, I find I can never get bored of this grand display of art. Each time it somehow offers itself as a fresh composition, never letting go of its incredible sound and fantastic track-list. The progressive and jazz elements of this album are perfectly accompanying each other, much like a musical Romeo and Juliet; The two genres have met once again, this time on Traced In Air, and instantly render as beautiful and beyond awesome.

I am certain this LP has many millions of plays ahead of it.

IcedPorcupine | 5/5 |

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