Review Summary: You know it's a sad year for music when Cynic's "Traced In Air" is the number one rated album of the 2008.
People tend to have a problem when it comes to rating an album. There are a lot of contributory elements, but the biggest is praise. That's just the thing in Cynic's case, they were held too high in regard due to their previous masterpeice 'Focus'. The largest problem with this album is that it's pedestrian at best, and by that I mean it's without imagination; dull and completely without depth. This is not the audible recording of air, and I don't think that was ever their intention; it has no main theme it's just an overproduced mess.
Tracks such as the 'unknown guest' are laughable at best once the mechanical chanting is introduced which sounds like something reminiscent of an incantation, which definitely does not belong, it fits awkwardly and ruins the overall atmosphere of the song which could have been a somewhat decent song. On other songs such as 'king of those who know' we see great musicianship, but very overproduced vocals. One particular part stands out where the lead vocalist attempts to sing in a very euphonious way with the lyrics 'king of those who know, I've taken off my clothes', however, he sounds too overdramatic and airy.
That can be said for the entirety of the album though. One of its biggest problems is that it sounds too overproduced (occassionally the drums will sound too overproduced as well). What ever happened to that raw feeling that metal and rock had? The largest redeeming qualities can be heard on tracks such as 'integral birth' and 'the space for this' both of which, are fun and somewhat catchy. They fit perfectly with the flow of this inconsistant album, but they stand out amongst the other drowsy and bland songs to be found, particularily integral birth, which just has a kick ass chorus, outstanding drumming and a cool guitat line; the growling vocals, however, we could have done without. Other songs such as 'adam's murmer' and 'nunc stans' are completely forgetable and see the album at it's worst point. For me, personally, the lead vocals on adam's murmer are very annoying, and the guitar work is very underpar. Tracks nunc fluens and nunc stans were just a reason to open this album and close it, and they're both tracks that everyone will skip after hearing them once.
Overall, Cynic's Traced In Air is a rather elusive thing to describe, but this much can be said: it's just consistantly boring and repititious with over dramatic vocals as well as being overproduced. It's too ambitious for its own good and lacks any real depth or emotion to it. This is not a record you will walk away from feeling any different about life, it will not lift your spirits for the day and it sure as hell will not broaden your horizons and expand your music catalogue. I find it funny that this beat out PTH's Fortress.
Review is alright, you really need to proofread it.
lacks any real depth or emotion to it.
Exactly how I feel. This needed a lot better production, all emotion and meaning seems stripped from the musicianship. I really don't feel enlightened while listening to this, it takes away from the artistic aspect of music.
However, I still think it's a great album. I'll listen to it frequently enough, but it's far from classic.
That seemingly lack of emotion, feeling, soul, w/e, and the short length is why I have it a 4.5.
If it were like 4-5 minutes longer, and with a little more substance/emotion/soul then it would be a 5 for me. That's not to say the album doesn't have emotion, but to me it does seem to be lacking just a little.
I also agree that Cynic can be hard to connect with, but as Willie says, I don't really see why that's an issue. As for the review, I've only listened to this once (got it in the mail yesterday) but I can already tell that I disagree with you. This is amazing.
I can understand how easy it is to percieve a lack of emotional depth within this record, but it is there, just a little deeper beneath the surface. Try reading up on Buddhist theology, and other spiritual subjects, like astral travel, there are a lot of references within the lyrics that took me countless listens to actually notice and understand.
Adams Mumur, for example, references "string theory", whereby the universe is built on microscopic strings, which vibrate, thus creating harmony and energy; see the line "A primal energy, where creation is born on sympathetic chords".
And I personally find Nunc Stans to be one of the most beautiful songs ever written. The idea that we are all at one with this great universal energy within timeless present, but have a profound human experience, where we learn about love, hate, life and death etc, at least to me, is extremely emotionally engaging. In fact, I used the two bookend song of this album as the basis of a tattoo, which I wouldn't have done is there was no meaning behind them.
Still, good review, I just think you need to listen to this a few more times.
If the review is badly written, then obviously the reviewer doesn't care very much about his opinion being worth a salt. Some of you need to take it easy with the trashing; you're just feeding the troll that doesn't realize it's a troll yet (so don't give it any ideas).