Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Cynic - Focus CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.15 | 605 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars While "Focus" is generally an impressive album, I'm not quite sure whether it deserves all the hype, since it often goes in the direction of boring, over-indulgent and meaningless complexity that leads you nowhere. I'm not really a fan of the sound of the band and production of this record either - the guitars sound a bit too muddy and distorted, the bass often sounds like it belongs on a disco tune, and the processed/scream vocal contrast occasionally comes off as cheesy rather than interesting. All of this does not mean "Focus" is a bad album, but it represents in equal amounts where extreme prog metal (and prog metal in general) should and should NOT go. Opener ,"Veil of Maya", though seemingly a fan favourite, has never appealed much to me, as I can't really find any truly memorable or at least interesting moments here. Though it does represent the bands overall sound and style pretty well, it's not really a highlight. "Celestial Voyage" is far better , combining catchiness and complexity in a much more effective way. The "Eagle Nature" is a good example of what I'm talking about regarding sacrificing melody for complexity and meaningless technical doodling, though to it's credit, it does have a memorable chorus." Sentiment begins" with a promising guitar riff (well, preceded by a 40 second intro), but eventually succumbs to the same problem ." I'm but a Wave too..." , in my opinion,is the most uneventful track on the album. "Uroboric Forms" fares better, featuring some cool riffing, while the instrumental "Textures" delves deeper into the band's ambient, jazzy sound , providing much-needed refreshment. And finally, the closer, "How Could I" , begins with a simple, melodic bassline , which is then joined by the rest of the band before they plunge back into death-metal territory, this time with more inspired and interesting riffing, making it a highlight of the album.

My conclusion is that "Focus" would appeal more to metalheads aiming to expand their musical horizons rather than prog fans well-acquainted with complex, forward-thinking music. Perhaps, if this guys had stayed together for another album or two, the results would've been more satisfying...

Pafnutij | 3/5 |


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

Share this CYNIC review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

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.