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'90 DEMO

Cynic

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Cynic is one of the most influential bands in the tech metal genre, even though they only released one album in 1994 called Focus. Cynic is very different compared to most tech metal bands though as they have a more soft and melodic jazzy sound mixed with the tech metal madness. The robot voice from Paul Masvidal is also an original element on Focus. Allthough it was 1994 before Focus was released Cynic had been around for some time before that. They recorded 4 demos and played as session musicians on many metal albums from other artists ( Death, Pestilence, Master, Monstrosity, Atheist) before getting a record contract with Roadrunner records. The last demo was recorded for Roadrunner in 1991. This demo from 1990 is the third demo Cynic made.

This is the demo where Cynicīs music starts to take form. The two previous demos were very much rooted in the Bay area thrash metal style and didnīt hold that many tech metal elements. Allthough this third demo is still influenced by the Bay Area Thrash metal style, especially in the way Paul Masvidal sings, the music is very complex and can definitely be labelled tech metal. The songs have lots of different riffs and some of them are played with real virtuosity.

The musicians have finally become outstanding and you can hear that the interplay between them have become much better over the last year.

The sound quality is bearable this time, and allthough itīs not a professional production, which you canīt expect when itīs a demo, the instruments can be heard well enough anyway. The demo is produced by Cynic and the famous metal producer Scott Burns who has also worked with bands like Atheist, Death, Psychotic Waltz, Obituary, Napalm Death and Pestilence among others. The demo is recorded in legendary Florida based metal studio Morrisound.

This demo is quite enjoyable and you begin to hear traces of how Cynic would sound later on. There are no clean ( robot) singing here though only semi-growling vocals from Paul Masvidal. Iīll rate this 3 stars as I feel this is a very worthy purchase for fans of the early nineties tech metal scene. Donīt expect this demo to sound like Focus though. There is still a long way to that standard.

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Posted Sunday, April 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
ProgBagel
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Cynic - '90 Demo' 2.75

Starting to take form.

Cynic improved on almost every level with this release. The famous bassist Tony Choy is featured on this demo. This man later played with Atheist, Pestilence and a few other key metal bands. The music is less thrash, but still has a decent fill of it. Too much for me to call this a good addition, but this is three times more technical then anything they have put out before this album. The guitar solos are up to snuff just as much as all the technical guitarists that made it big, keep in mind the musicians were very young here. On a final note, the production is also much better; the prior demo's production was almost too unbearable for me to even listen to.

Still to thrashy for the typical proggers, but the music starts getting interested with this one.

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Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars '90 Demo' - Cynic (4/10)

With two demos of varying quality under their belt, Cynic makes something of a return to form with their '90 Demo'. Now twenty years old, one can hear Paul Masvidal's style taking shape a little more, although it is clear that the band is still well underneath the wing of their contemporaries Death. Now featuring legendary bassist Tony Choy, it is a shame that '90 Demo' still doesn't have the clarity of the first thing the band released, because for all intents and purposes, this would be the most musically developed thing that Cynic had released yet. Still four years away from the release of their classic album 'Focus' however, Cynic would need a lot of work before they could start influencing other bands themselves.

Featuring three songs, Cynic begins to tread away from the proto-death metal thrashiness that is porbably best exemplified with Death's 'Scream Bloody Gore', and goes for a somewhat more technical approach. The track 'Cruel Gentility' for example features some incredible lead work from Paul Masvidal that seems to take less of an emphasis on raw speed and goes towards more of a well-intentioned take on shredding. The songwriting may very well be the thing that has changed least since Cynic first took the stage, still featuring the interchanging riffs and solos underneath somewhat philosophical lyric work. The songs are generally better played than they ever have before, even though it still does not feel as if the recording lends itself well to having each instrument heard clearly. Perhaps the greatest fault here is the fact that bassist Tony Choy (who would later go on to achieve fame with Atheist) is not easily heard on the tracks here, instead being barely audible. Even so, '90 Demo' is fairly good as demos go, although it still suffers from many of the flaws that entail being one.

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Posted Monday, June 13, 2011 | Review Permalink

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