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Cynic - Demo 1991  CD (album) cover

DEMO 1991

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 1991 is the fourth demo Cynic made and was made for Roadrunner records which was at the time one of the biggest extreme metal labels together with Nuclear Blast and Earache. It was because of this demo that Cynic got a record contract with Roadrunner.

The fourth and last demo from Cynic before recording their debut album Focus was the so called Roadrunner Demo which was only meant for promo purposes. Here you can hear early and very different versions of two of the songs from Focus. Uroboric Forms and The Eagle Nature appear here in very premature forms. The robot voice Paul Masvidal would use on Focus is not present here, which means the vocals are death growls. It´s the first time the vocals are more death growls than thrash metal styled singing. On this demo the music has even become a bit brutal yet maintaining the very complex structures and playing. The last song here is Pleading for Preservation. All three songs are of high standard and you can clearly hear the direction Cynic want´s to take the music. It would be 3 years before Focus would be released and of course lots happened in that time with the music.

The musicianship is excellent and try and listen to Sean Reinert´s drumming skills. The man is incredible. The solo work from the two guitarists are also very good. The solos have only changed a bit from the versions here to those on Focus.

The sound quality is pretty good for a demo in 1991.

This is a very worthy purchase for fans of Cynic and fans of the early nineties tech metal scene. I´ll rate the demo 3 stars.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#168812)
Posted Sunday, April 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
ProgBagel
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Cynic - 'Demo 1991'

Watch things take form.

This would be Cynic's last demo before they released their debut album Focus. This demo takes a novel direction from the previous outputs. The music has a higher tendency to their technical virtuosity then their trash metal beginnings. To point more of a finger on it; the music takes more of a root in straight death metal then thrash metal. Clearly; the band stays away from fast palm-muted power chords and more to complex riffs, and death growls rather than some low pitched screaming/yelling.

The early forms of 'Uroboric Forms' and 'The Eagle Nature' take region here. The band certainly took these tracks to the next level after two years of keeping quiet (do to many unexpected catastrophes'). The musical performance is high quality from each and every musician, as the guitars have ascended to a higher field of talent and composition, and the bass and drums have improved, but were certainly good enough. The quality of the demo isn't too shabby for the time period.

Better than just a fan item. I'd say this is quite a good addition for a jazz metal or a technical metal fan. This is still a rather short EP.

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Send comments to ProgBagel (BETA) | Report this review (#172549)
Posted Thursday, May 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a very interesting demo for Cynic fans. This demo is somewhere between the regular technical death metal from the Tampa scene and Cynic's extreme intepretation of fusion. Two of the three songs that are featured on this demo will eventually end on Focus, but they are without the clean vocoder vocals and with less pure fusion interludes. Masvidal's vocals are surprisingly good. He doesn't sing on this demo, all the lyrics are grunted. This is top notch technical death metal played by some great musicians, and I would have been very happy if Cynic decided to record a full album at this point. It depends on what you prefer: if you don't like the vocoder and the less heavy parts on Focus and would like a more brutal version of Cynic, this demo is certainly for you. If you only like Cynic's comeback, you'd better stay away from this.

The only thing that keeps this demo from getting four stars is well, it's a demo. It is short (12 minutes) and the production could be better. I like this kind of production, you can hear every instrument clearly and it adds something to the death metal sound, but it is definitely not for audiophiles.

This is not something for completionists, it really offers something extra. This demo is well worth a listen.

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Send comments to MeThos_valdroa (BETA) | Report this review (#310314)
Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Demo 1991' - Cynic (6/10)

At last, Cynic emerges.

'Demo 1991'- or also known as the 'Roadrunner Demo'- comes after a stream of three demos which each hinted at the talent and skill of Cynic, but were often too caught up in Death worship and poor recording quality to really make much of a lasting statement. Finally, now at the age of twenty-one, Paul Masvidal comes out with a demo that finally starts showing his band making music that treads out from underneath the shadow of Death and gets something more original going on. While earlier recordings could be easily likened to the style Death played on 'Scream Bloody Gore', Cynic takes a much more technical route with this one, and even features some mellow spacey guitar work; the likes of which would be more heavily focused on with the band's debut full-length 'Focus'. Virtually every aspect of Cynic's sound has been improved here, finally creating an experience that is musically worth returning to and listening again.

While most demos are plagued by poor recording quality, Cynic has finally achieved a sound that is still not perfect or even great, but is fair enough to not impede the music too much. Although it would have been nice to be able to hear the bass playing a little more, Cynic's studio production is fair enough here. The actual music here is also quite good, and Cynic is starting to develop a more unique sound in their riffs and technical instrumentation, although the robotic vocals that many associate with the band are still not heard here. Perhaps the best thing that Cynic has going for them at this point are the great solos of Masvidal, which even by this point, outdo the sort of leads that Chuck Schuldiner of Death was doing. Suffice to say, Cynic would still only get better in the future, but 1991 would be the year where Cynic's music would start to blossom.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#460751)
Posted Monday, June 13, 2011 | Review Permalink

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