Cynic
Demo 1991


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
October 7th, 2008 | 96 replies | 13,497 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This demo showcases Cynic at a time when they were as aggressive as they were technical.

I’m a big fan of Cynic and their brand of progressive metal. I love the various vocal styles and the technical death metal mixed with mellow prog, but there are those that don’t. Most of the people that don’t like this band will point to the “crying alien” vocals of guitarist Paul Masvidal as their main issue. Also, another complaint I’ve heard is that the frequent mellow sections ruin the flow of the music. For those that take issue with either of those elements, this demo shows that they weren’t always a part of the band’s sound. This final demo before the release of their debut album is heavy, fast, aggressive and technical as hell. It doesn’t contain the frequent forays into mellowness nor does it have any vocals other then the death growls.

Anyone that is a fan of the band should recognize the first two tracks as they ended up on Cynic’s debut album in altered form. It turns out that the album versions of “Uroboric Forms” and “The Eagle Nature” were mellowed considerably and also stripped of a lot of sections compared to their demo counterparts. These two songs are faster, more technical, and much more aggressive than anything that ended up on “Focus”. The technicality on this demo comes in many forms. There is the speedy and precise nature of the melodies and riffs, the busy arrangements as well as a multitude of sections in each song that just blaze by; often in a very jarring and abrupt manner. One element that is missing from these arrangements are the mellower sections, which some may miss but it does allow the songs to maintain their aggression from start to finish. The third song, “Pleading for Preservation”, didn’t make it onto the debut album, but it is not inferior to the two previous songs at all. In fact, it is very similar in pace, aggression and technicality and it makes me wonder why they didn’t integrate it into Focus.

This is the demo that any fan should already have or be actively seeking out. The sound is great and despite being a little raw it actually contains more clarity than the debut album. The instrument to benefit the most from this improved clarity is the bass guitar. It is now very easy to hear the great playing of Tony Choy and it makes it very easy to appreciate just how talented he is. This is also the demo every fan should have simply because it’s very cool to be able to hear how two of the songs morphed into their mellower, more progressive versions on Focus. I know all of you know how to use a computer to ‘discover’ music (there’s already 86 ratings on Cynic’s upcoming album!), so do yourselves a favor and seek this out too.



Recent reviews by this author
Cannibal Corpse A Skeletal DomainRabbit Junk Pop That Pretty Thirty
Anathema Distant SatellitesFlotsam and Jetsam No Place for Disgrace - 2014
Mindcage Our Own DevicesFates Warning Darkness in a Different Light
user ratings (76)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
October 7th 2008


15964 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know this isn't my best review (by far), but I've been burnt out on writing lately and wanted to ease back into it with something short.

Digging: Necropoli - I

Elixirs
October 7th 2008


93 Comments


and it makes me wonder why they didn’t integrate it into Focus.
they did

Willie
Moderator
October 7th 2008


15964 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There are a few sections of that song cannibalized and used on other songs, but I meant that they should have actually used the song (in slightly altered form) on the album.

BallsToTheWall
October 7th 2008


44294 Comments


I was never quite the big Cynic fan that many on this site seem to be but Traced In Air really caught my attention and I might try to get this. Ace review as usual. Who'll review Traced In Air first, I wonder?

Digging: Tiamat - Clouds

Lunarfall
October 7th 2008


3179 Comments


Jom, Iluvatar and Trey will submit their reviews at the same time, crashing the server.This Message Edited On 10.07.08

Willie
Moderator
October 7th 2008


15964 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jom, Iluvatar and Trey will submit their reviews at the same time, crashing the server.
ha ha, there's no way I'm writing a review for "Traced in Air". Jom's soundoff for that album is better than my review would be.
I was never quite the big Cynic fan that many on this site seem to be but Traced In Air really caught my attention and I might try to get this.
You should definitely try. It's all over the place... and if that doesn't work, I have it.This Message Edited On 10.07.08

Lunarfall
October 7th 2008


3179 Comments


Don't be like me and waiting until it's actually released to listen to it. I think I'm going insane waiting for it. This Message Edited On 10.07.08

Willie
Moderator
October 7th 2008


15964 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've already heard it. I couldn't wait until the end of this month when I saw everyone start rating it, so I found it. I'm going to buy it too, for sure.... but I'm not going to review it. Jom could just copy and paste his soundoff.

Lunarfall
October 7th 2008


3179 Comments


I didn't know soundoffs could be made that long haha.

Just listened to Uroboric Forms from this demo expecting robot vocals, but the growls (I believe they are Paul's in this?) surprised me, even after reading the review lol.This Message Edited On 10.07.08

McP3000
October 7th 2008


3941 Comments


i never knew they had a demo...

AngelPhoenix
October 7th 2008


2764 Comments


This sounds really interesting, never knew this existed. Solid review willie, short and sweet. I think you maybe use the term "technicality" too much without outlining or summarizing what it means. I always thought it was another way to say the band is very precise with their instruments and their rhythm, tempo, pitch and tonal changes. But I was honestly never exactly sure what it meant for a metal band to be "technical". Perhaps you could elaborate a little in the review, seeing as you use the term often. Just a suggestion. This Message Edited On 10.07.08

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
October 7th 2008


3767 Comments


Eh, this is alright. The production on this is mostly crap and the songs are missing alot of the elements that made Focus so interesting in the first palce.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Elixirs
October 7th 2008


93 Comments


how could you guys not know that cynic had a bunch of demos

Willie
Moderator
October 7th 2008


15964 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just listened to Uroboric Forms from this demo expecting robot vocals, but the growls (I believe they are Paul's in this?) surprised me, even after reading the review lol.
That's funny that you were still waiting for those vocals. It's different, but still kind of similar to the album version.
I think you maybe use the term "technicality" too much without outlining or summarizing what it means. I always thought it was another way to say the band is very precise with their instruments and their rhythm, tempo, pitch and tonal changes. But I was honestly never exactly sure what it meant for a metal band to be "technical". Perhaps you could elaborate a little in the review, seeing as you use the term often. Just a suggestion.
Good idea. I elaborated a little bit, but I didn't want to go too far into it since this is a brief review.
The production on this is mostly crap and the songs are missing alot of the elements that made Focus so interesting in the first palce.
The production isn't crap, just a little less produced. They are missing elements from Focus, but if they sounded just like the album versions then this demo would be pointless to listen to.

AngelPhoenix
October 7th 2008


2764 Comments


^^^Yeah, the boys were just trying to get it down the way they wanted it. Takes time and practice.

The technicality on this demo comes in many forms. There is the speedy and precise nature of the melodies and riffs, the busy arrangements as well as a multitude of sections in each song that just blaze by; often in a very jarring and abrupt manner

Awesome. If I could pos again I would.

HighandDriving
October 7th 2008


3288 Comments


Nice to see this reviewed, good job.

rasputin
October 7th 2008


14541 Comments


Nice review. I'm not that huge a fan of Cynic as some, so I probably won't bother with this.

Willie
Moderator
October 7th 2008


15964 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you like Atheist and don't like the robot vocals of Cynic's albums this might hold your interest.

Wizard
October 7th 2008


19383 Comments


Alien vocals are the best part about this band. The music just kind of bores me. Sure they are technical and switch it up a bit, but something that lacks alot about Focus. Maybe the name of that album was intended to be a motivation for future releases (which I haven't heard by the way, I'll wait ;)). Nice short and sweet review. I may check this out if I ever download again.

Digging: Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra - The Key to the Gates of the Apocalypse

rasputin
October 7th 2008


14541 Comments


I haven't listened to Atheist yet, something I should get around to. I don't mind the robot vocals, I'm just indifferent about them. I might as well put this on the list.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy