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Cynic - Traced In Air CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.12 | 506 ratings

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4 stars If not unique, Cynic are a very rare case of band. 14 years after their debut "Focus" (a classic for prog metal fans), here is their second album, "Traced In Air".

Some of the members' projects released in the meanwhile proved a musical turn to softer and more melodic sound (Masvidal's Aeon Spoke) or an even more experimental jazzy approach (Malone's Gordian Knot). However, except Masvidal's melodic vocals, the result in Cynic's second album has little to do with these projects and even with their debut. Dutch metal/fusion guitarist Tymon Kruidenier (also in Exivious) has replaced Jason Gobel. He also does all the brutal vocals in the album, which are usually sang in the background alongside Masvidal's melodic voice, who probably has left growl singing in the past.

The album begins with "Nunc Fluens", a 3-minute intro, which ends with magnificent riffing. "The Space for This" shows the band's maturity over time in full display. This is one of the best prog metal songs I've listened to the last years. Technically superb, it sounds new and fresh, and also reminds of classic 90's prog metal with a jazzy twist, typical of Cynic. However, as usual, Cynic are totally unpredictable, and this is always a benefit for the band. "Evolutionary Sleeper" starts off and Masvidal's vocals are added as a surprising factor. His singing is very technical now and what he plays on the guitar is completely unbelievable, especially the solo. "Integral Birth" continues on the same level in a more dramatic vein and fades out, before "The Unknown Guest" fades in as an answer. This is one of the very few weak points in this album, as well as the album's final song "Nunc Stans", which is not bad, but it isn't enough.

I can't write a review of "Traced In Air" without mentioning anyhting about the skillfull playing (to say the least) of Cynic. I believe that Sean Malone and Sean Reinert comprise one of the best rhythm sections ever in progressive music. They are completely unstoppable, they always manage to give a fantastic groove to all songs and leave the field for the jazzy and yet so metal elegant style of Masvidal and Kruidenier.

Great album, a near masterpiece.

DeKay | 4/5 |


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