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Cynic Reflections of a Dying World album cover
1.84 | 13 ratings | 3 reviews | 15% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Denaturalizing Leaders (3:52)
2. Extremes (2:33)
3. A Life Astray (2:50)
4. Agitating Affliction (3:42)

Total Time 12:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul Masvidal / Guitar, Vocals
- Jason Gobel / Guitar
- Mark Van Erp / Bass
- Sean Reinert / Drums

Releases information

Demo MC, Self-released (1989)

Thanks to UMUR for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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CYNIC Reflections of a Dying World ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(8%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (31%)
Poor. Only for completionists (23%)

CYNIC Reflections of a Dying World reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 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 1989 is the second demo Cynic made.

Like on the first demo Cynic made, the style here is very inspired by the mid- to late eighties Bay Area Thrash Metal Style. A style played by bands like Forbidden, Testament, Death Angel, Dark Angel and Vio-Lence ( which featured Rob Flynn of Machine Head). Itīs a pretty aggressive metal style and it involves fast technical playing and lots of soloing. The death metal influences that would later become a big part of Cynicīs sound is not present here.There hasnīt been that much development since the first demo and what sticks out the most is still Sean Reinertīs drum playing.

The musicians like the music donīt seem to have developed that much. There has been some change in the lineup though as singer Jack Kelly has left the band. Paul Masvidal has taken over the vocals and a new guitarist Jason Gobel has been added. The playing is a bit better than on the debut demo though.

The sound quality is not very good on Reflections of a Dying World, but you have to remember the poor recording conditions extreme metal bands had in the eighties. Itīs not an excuse though the sound is pretty bad.

This one like the first demo is only for the devoted fans. Iīll rate it 2 stars as a devoted fan is exactly what I am. Others will probably give Reflections of a Dying World 1 star though as it isnīt that impressive.

Review by ProgBagel
1 stars Cynic - 'Reflections of a Dying World' 1 star

A terrible self-made demo.

I love most of the members that released the 'Focus' album and branched out into other projects that all had good output, but this is just a terrible release. Jack Kelly is relieved of vocal duties which are taken on by Paul Masvidal. A new guitarist that is included on the debut album, Jason Gobel, makes his first impression here, Cynic ever coming closer to their legendary line-up.

I find this to be a step-down from the previous demo in many senses. The production is some of the worst I have ever heard in my experience of hearing albums. This demo is also largely more thrash then the last one. The playing is less intricate; the guitars just play basic rhythms that are implemented into the band Slayer's style. I found this release to be quite a step back. It is so hard to believe a band can step it back on demos.

Review by Conor Fynes
2 stars 'Reflections Of A Dying World' - Cynic (3/10)

After a relatively successful '88 Demo', Cynic had introduced itself to the local Florida metal scene with a demo that sported fairly decent sound quality, songwriting and band performance. With this having been said, it comes as something of a sour surprise that the year after, Cynic would return with a second demo that takes the band's strengths from the first and downplays them to something fairly less enjoyable. After a switch up in their line-up, Paul Masvidal takes the reins for vocal work, and there is the addition of a second guitarist into Cynic's sound. With 'Reflections Of A Dying World', the music stays fairly static and unchanged from '88 Demo', but the steep decline in recording quality makes this one something of a failure.

The riffs remain sharply rooted in thrash metal, close to bands like Slayer, or even the fellow Floridan death metal act Death. At this time, Death was a few steps ahead of Cynic and it is clear from the guitar riffs and songwriting that Paul Masvidal was an adherent to the teachings of Evil Chuck. The musicianship is fairly standard for thrash metal, featuring a focus on speed over complexity, and guitar solos aplenty, which on a related note are also the greatest thing that this demo has going for it. Paul Masvidal's growls here are better than Jack Kelly's from the first demo, but not by much. Unfortunately, every sound on 'Reflections Of A Dying World' is brought down heavily by the recording quality, which sounds as if Cynic threw away whatever means they had to do proper recording with '88 Demo' and opted for something much noisier and unpolished. The end result is a demo that may be a step forward in terms of the band's development, but a great step back in terms of enjoyable music.

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