Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Cynthesis - DeEvolution CD (album) cover



Progressive Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars If you're looking for a satisfying Prog Metal experience with a modern twist then look no further. This new project from the Tipton brothers (previously Zero Hour) shows a level of professionalism and inspiration that is rarely shown in this scene. Best of all they manage to stay clear of the vanilla and cheese that makes classic Prog Metal hard to swallow for me.

The credit largely goes to the Tipton brothers, who both deliver splendid musicianship, on bass and guitars respectively. Yes, this is a metal album with audible bass guitar and what an enjoyment it is. Despite the musical capacities they keep the focus strongly with the songs, very tasty material, melodious but never corny. Vocalist Rosvold is a big aid in this as his clean but forceful mid-range voice is a welcome relief in a scene crowded with vocalist that confuse hitting high notes with emotion. My main gripe with the album is that after two very strong pieces, 'Divided Day' introduces a ballad-based type of songwriting that make the album drag a bit, but that shouldn't be a problem for the many fans of albums such as 'The Perfect Element' or 'Scenes of a Memory'.

Don't expect new tricks or innovation, this is just solid classic stuff with strong songmaterial and rich musicianship. I'd very much recommended this to all Prog Metal fans.

Report this review (#504667)
Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The newest incarnation of the Tipton brothers, "Cynthesis" creates a sound that is more in line with melodic prog rock than their previous work under "Zero Hour", which favoured a more technical metal approach. That's not to say "Cynthesis" is lacking technical aspects - there are still moments of jaw-dropping musicianship - but it would be fair to say the focus has shifted a little.

"DeEvolution" is the first in a series of sci-fi concept albums that follows the story of a tribal shaman captured and taken within an industrialised city. I won't go further into the story, as it's one of the joys of listening to a concept album like this to hear it unfold, but suffice to say the story is intriguing and provides an appetite for subsequent instalments.

There's also a great maturity in the songwriting on this album. Always capable of creating mesmerizing riffs and effortlessly fusing complex time signatures, Jasun Tipton here shows that he's also more than adequately equipped to fashion sublime atmospheres and simpler melodies.

Troy Tipton also gives another stellar performance on this album. This guy has to be one of my favourite bassists going around. Not content to punch out by-the-numbers basslines, Troy utilises all of his skills to come up with some really satisfying phrases. Especially of note is his use of the 'dusty end' of the fretboard in songs such as "Incision".

Erik Rosvold, absent from "Zero Hour" for many years, makes a welcome return here. There's a number of emotions and vocal styles delivered across "DeEvolution", and Rosvold handles them all with aplomb. There are moments, especially as things ramp up towards the end of the album, where Rosvold's voice is spine tingling. Add to the mix Sean Flanegan, the perfect foil for Troy Tipton in the engine room, and this really does amount to a killer lineup.

There's not a single fault to point out on this album. From writing and production to performances, it all works. At around 45 minutes, the album contains not a trace of filler and at the same time doesn't outstay it's welcome. Fans of concept albums, melodic prog or anyone who wants to hear some fantastic musicians at the top of their game should check these guys out.

Report this review (#987470)
Posted Friday, June 28, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "DeEvolution" is the debut full-length studio album by US, California based Cynthesis. The album was released through Sensory Records in April 2011. The lineup comprises three former Zero Hour members (Troy Tipton, Jasun Tipton and Erik Rosvold) and Enchant drummer Sean Flanegan. So minus drummer Mike Guy, this is the lineup who recorded the classic "The Towers of Avarice (2001)" album by Zero Hour. I note with great joy that "DeEvolution" also marks the return of Erik Rosvold to the metal scene after a lengthy break in music oriented activities (Zero Hour recorded three albums with other singers in his absence).

It's of course deliberately that I mention "The Towers of Avarice (2001)" above. The dark and brooding sci-fi themed technical/progressive metal album stands as the finest achivement in the career of the now defunct Zero Hour, and therefore many questions arise before listening to "DeEvolution". Is this a continuation of the musical style initiated on "The Towers of Avarice (2001)"? Is Erik Rosvold still the vocal capacity he once was?

...the answers are both yes and no and somewhere in between. The sci-fi themed lyrics and concept form of "The Towers of Avarice (2001)" are also features on "DeEvolution" although it's a different story (the first part of a planned triology), and Erik Rosvold is definitely still the vocal capacity he was 10 years back, but when that is said "DeEvolution" is a very different sounding album compared to "The Towers of Avarice (2001)". While the concept is still pretty dark, the music on "DeEvolution" is not as bleak sounding as the case was on "The Towers of Avarice (2001)". It's of course no surprise, that the music on "DeEvolution" is more melodic and dynamic in nature, if you've followed the development of the Tipton brothers over the years. The acrobatic chromatic fretboard shredding is still a part of their sound, but I struggle to recall them composing music as melodically focused as the music on "DeEvolution". It's like they've really matured as songwriters over the last couple of years and the material on "DeEvolution" is both varied and generally very well written. Personally I miss more harder edged and aggressive parts in the music, but the increased focus on melody and atmosphere is also quite effectful.

The musicianship is not surprisingly on a very high level. Sean Flanegan gets to show a bit more of his technical playing skills than what we usually hear when he is playing with Enchant and as mentioned above Erik Rosvold is a fantastic vocalist with a personal and intense singing style and a strong and powerful voice. The Tipton brothers are as usual distinct sounding and focused on playing adventurous themes, but also more sensitive than ever to melody. Especially bassist Troy Tipton is on fire on "DeEvolution".

Overall "DeEvolution" is an original sounding progressive metal album, with both melodic moments, an intriguing atmosphere/concept story, and packed with skillfull adventurous playing. Combine that with a powerful and detailed sound production, and the above mentioned high level musicianship, and "DeEvolution" is quite a successful album to my ears. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#1377005)
Posted Tuesday, March 3, 2015 | Review Permalink

CYNTHESIS DeEvolution ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of CYNTHESIS DeEvolution

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.