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Cynic

Cynic was formed in November of 1987 in Miami, Florida by Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert . Paul and Seanwereelementaryschool classmates when they first started making music together. After a series of mini-projects and explorations,theydecided to seriously seek out other musicians. For junior high, Paul was sentaway to boarding school in upstate NewYorkwhere he found bass player Mark Van Erp. Mark eventuallymoved to Miami along with his friend Jack Kelly who was addedonvocals thus completing the first official Cynicline-up. This early incarnation of Cynic was focused on making brutaldeathmetal ...read more

Cynic was formed in November of 1987 in Miami, Florida by Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert . Paul and Seanwereelementaryschool classmates when they first started making music together. After a series of mini-projects and explorations,theydecided to seriously seek out other musicians. For junior high, Paul was sentaway to boarding school in upstate NewYorkwhere he found bass player Mark Van Erp. Mark eventuallymoved to Miami along with his friend Jack Kelly who was addedonvocals thus completing the first official Cynicline-up. This early incarnation of Cynic was focused on making brutaldeathmetal with primary influencestaken from bands such as Venom, Possessed, Slayer, Kreator, Destruction and Dark Angel.It isthis lineupthat would later be featured on the release of their first, self-titled demo in 1988.

Cynic parted ways with Jack in 1988, and Paul took over vocal duties. Jason Gobel (whom they met at a showtheyperformedat) was added on guitar and and in 1989, they cut their second demo, entitled Reflections OfA Dying World,consisting of foursongs. All of the songs on this demo were of the speed metal/thrash genre,with even some punk elementsincorporated. Thislineup soon began touring the south Florida area andbootlegs exist of them as far back as May of 1988.Soon after, Mark wasout of the band and Tony Choy wasadded on bass. In 1990, Cynic released their third demo (also self-titled). This helped togain them a largefollowing throughout southern and central Florida, as well as their constant touring andcameoappearances(opening for national acts) in the South Florida area. This new lineup would remain intact until 1991.

During this time, the bands' influences were beginning to dramatically change. While they were still listeningtocontemporarieslike Atheist and Death, and enticed by the sheer intensity of these extreme forms of music,their musical andcreative abilitieswere growing, and consequently, they began listening to more complex andeclectic forms of music. Classicjazz, bebop andfusion groups such as Mahavishnu Orchestra and AllanHoldsworth began influencing their work. Artists such asPat Methenyand Frank Zappa, 20th Century classicalmusic and even certain forms of pop were expanding their recordcollections. Thischange in technical andcreative skill had already made its way into their songs as the band took a great leapforward inmusicianshipfor their second and third demos.

By the early part of 1991, Cynic had evolved into a progressive death metal band, although the bandthemselvesdidn'tconsider themselves to be death metal. The music had the technicality of progressive metalwith the brutal vocalqualities ofdeath metal. They cut a fourth and final demo in 1991 (financed byRoadrunner Records) consisting of three tracks.Two ofthese tracks would, in a drastically different form,make it onto their debut album. In April of 1991, Paul and Seanplayed onthe groundbreaking Death albumHuman alongside the band's mastermind Chuck Schuldiner and Steve DiGiorgio ofSadus. Theydescribedtheir relationship with Chuck as "very laid-back", and were able to help Chuck with the writing by givinghiminput,which had been missing on the earlier Death records. The result was a classic record, and Death evengot some MTVairplayfor their video "Lack Of Comprehension". At the same time, Tony Choy was filling in forthe late Roger Patterson onAtheist'sUnquestionable Presence, also a great album in its own right, andguesting on Pestilence's Testimony of the Ancients.Paul didguitars on Master's On The Eighth Day, GodCreated Master, and Jason worked with Monstrosity (whom Mark Van Erpjoined),playing lead on theirImperial Doom album. All of this guest work helped to enlarge the fan base for Cynic, makingthem,accordingto Roadrunner Records, "...the most popular underground act to never record an album..

Cynic was planning to record their first full-length album on the Roadrunner label after recording the Deathrecord, but PaulandSean decided to complete the tour cycle for Death's European tour through the rest of1991. These and other delayswerepart of what expanded Cynic's popularity and also gave them more time todevelop their sound. Immediately upon SeanandPaul's return from Death's European tour, they scheduled togo into the studio in October of 1992 with Scott Burns torecordtheir debut album , when catastrophe hit.Unfortunately for everyone, Hurricane Andrew destroyed Jason's house alongwiththe band's rehearsalfacilities. Their plans to record were put on hold until March of 1993. Incidentally, this alsointerruptedChuckSchuldiner's plans for the next Death release, Individual Thought Patterns, for which Sean Reinert was hisfirstchoice asdrummer. Sean decided to put his energies back into Cynic. Chuck hired ex-Dark Angel drummerGene Hoglan(whom he metthrough writer / long-time associate Borivoj Krgin) to fill in. During this time,Cynic was working with ex-Viogression vocalistBrian DeNeffe. Also around this time, a track of Cynic's wasfinally released on CD. "Uroboric Forms"appeared in demo form onthe Roadrunner compilation At Death'sDoor II in 1992 with a note that Cynic's debut album wouldbe released in May 1993.

May 1993 came and went and no album appeared. The band mutually parted ways with Tony Choy who wenton tobecomeAtheist's full time bass player. Soon after, Chris Kringel joined the band, whom they metthrough Brian Deneffe(Viogression).Chris played with the band for a while (and eventually with Portal), butlogistics and stylistic differences led toDarrenMcfarland (from Atheist) whom went into the studio with theband. When things didn't work out with Darren, Cynic werebackin Miami with all tracks recorded minus bass.Days after their return, Steve Digorgio was at Morrisound recordingDeath'sIndividual Thought Patterns. Oneday in a phone conversation with Paul, Steve passed the phone to Sean Malonewhohappened to be anemployee at Morrisound. Steve learned of his bass playing skills during the Individual recordingsessions.Aftersending his bass demo to Cynic and meeting shortly after, he recorded bass tracks at Morrisound Studios(wheretheband had recorded their previous demos), and they finally mixed the record. September 14, 1993,Focus was finallyreleased.With over two years since their last demo, Focus was a remarkable change from thestyle of any of their previousmaterial,and quite different from anything else in the music world as well.

After the release of Focus, Cynic went on a European tour supporting Pestilence. For their live shows, theyadded afifthmember, lead singer/growler Tony Teegarden, who had actually sung the death vocals on Focus,(since Paul was indanger oflosing his voice at the time). Note: Paul sang the ethereal computer voice for allthe live shows. Tony also playedkeyboardslive. Due to his schoolwork, Sean Malone could not tour with theband so Chris Kringel came back and replaced him.The tourwas cut short, however, when Pestilencedisbanded. Returning to the states in January 1994, Cynic did a few showsin theFlorida area, playing thestates for the first time in over two years. Malone's only European appearance with Cynic wasattheir DynamoFestival appearance in the summer of 1994. Next, Cynic toured the States during the summer of1994supportingCannibal Corpse. Their tour stretched over 3 months and covered most of the United States.Malone rejoinedthe group forthis tour. Tony was unable to participate, so they borrowed Dana Cosley (fromlocal Florida band Demonomacy)to do thedeath vocals and the keyboards. Tony did rejoin the group for ashow in West Palm Beach which was the only showto containall the original Focus members.

After the tour, Cynic began work on a new album. In the early stages of working on their upcoming album, thebandpartedways with Sean Malone. Soon after they reunited with bassist Chris Kringel who moved back toMiami and worked withtheband to write and record the Portal demos. Sean Malone's split with the band wasamicable, however, and has continuedtowork with Sean R., Paul and Jason to this day. Part of the musicalshifts at this time, were the band's decision to add afemalevocalist. Aruna Abrams was found through a lettershe wrote to the band while a student at Berkeley College of Music.Afterthe band received her audition tape,she was asked to join Cynic. She moved to Miami and worked closely with the bandfor ayear writing andrecording what would eventually transform into Portal. Sometime during the fall of 1994, while workingonthenew album, Cynic shifted. New directions and sounds led to a name change. Cynic was complete and finishedit'sworkunder that name. The band felt urged to rebirth into a new musical concept that was born out ofthese changes. Portalwasborn.

http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/artists/cynic.

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Similar Bands: Death, Atheist, Portal (Cynic), Voivod, Aeon Spoke

LPs
Kindly Bent to Free Us
2014

3.2
371 Votes
Traced in Air
2008

4.2
2,272 Votes
Focus
1993

4.3
1,879 Votes
EPs
Carbon-Based Anatomy
2011

3.8
612 Votes
Re-Traced
2010

3.5
343 Votes
Demo 1991
1991

4
76 Votes
'90 Demo
1990

3.7
48 Votes
Reflections of a Dying World
1989

3
42 Votes
'88 Demo
1988

3
51 Votes
Compilations
The Portal Tapes
03/27/2012

3.7
143 Votes

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