4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Between beauty and brutality,
This review is from: Traced in the Air (Audio CD)
Progressive metal is an artform with roots back to bands and artists like Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Mahavishnu Orchestra. Odd meters, musicianship of the highest order. But also with an, in my eyes, unhealthy leaning towards the dark, the perverted and the downright satanic. With the trademark growls producing an uncanny effect for the uninitiated listener.
Cynic, whose '93 debut was hailed as a landmark album for it's technical brilliance and its blend of jazz, metal, progressive and more quiet, new age like passages, differs from most bands in the genre. As their wellwritten lyrics are steeped in Eastern spirituality, guitarist Paul Masvidal inspired by Paramahansa Yogananda, and wouldn't sound out of place on any new age album.
This their second album, uniting Masvidal with the formidable rythm section of Sein Reinert and Shawn Malone, is really a refinement of their groundbreaking debut. The technical level highly impressive. What seperates it from the first is the dominant role of the mellotronlike keyboards and the relative subdued role of Malone. They also excels - like Canvas Solaris and Opeth - in going from the beautiful and introspective to the loud and aggresive in a blink of an eye. Making a very varied and compelling mixture of different moods.
Reminding me of Kip Hanrahan's words: "Each single day has just enough cruelty within/To make them perfect and right/Each single day has just enough dark deep within/To make it perfect and light".