Cynic
Reflections of a Dying World


2.0
poor

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (66 Reviews)
March 16th, 2010 | 14 replies | 8,178 views


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For hardcore Cynic fans only.

Bands like Cynic are hard to come by these days. Cynic has only put out two full-lengths, but the material in those albums is top-quality, genre defining music. But, like most other bands, Cynic had a rough time getting started. Their first demo, appropriately titled ’88 Demo, was absolutely nothing like the Cynic we’ve come to know and love. There was no trace of Cynic’s signature melodic death metal sound, and you’ll find Jimmy Hoffa’s body before you locate even a trace of jazz influence. As for its successor, Reflections of a Dying World, Cynic showed very little signs of improvement, if any.

One thing you’ll notice instantly is the horrid production. It’s not even the appealing type of "bad" production found on black metal classics like Nattens Madrigal and Transylvanian Hunger; the type of production that provides an ominous, trance-like atmosphere, thus enhancing the overall listening experience. On Reflections of a Dying World, we're greeted with the awful type of bad production that strains your ears as you try to decipher the muddled riffs, which aren't even that good. An interesting aspect of this demo is that Paul Masvidal - the guitar wizard of Cynic - takes on the vocal duties, after the departure of previous vocalist Jack Kelly. He actually does pretty decent crossover screams; his shouting is raw and in your face, the antithesis of his auto-tuned robotic clean singing on Cynic's LPs. But unfortunately the instrumentals are subpar at best. The guitar work is made up of barely passable hardcore riffs, with decent melodies being few and far between. The bass is almost inaudible, but it makes little difference since most of the time it’s just mimicking the rhythm guitarist. As for the drums, it's nothing more than a standard, run-of-the-mill punk feel throughout. Who would’ve known Sean Reinert would turn into the beast he is today?

All in all, there is absolutely nothing special to be found in this demo. It’s hard to differentiate one song from another since they all stay in the same dull, anti-climactic crossover feel the entire time, showing no signs of improvement from their previous demo. Reflections of a Dying World is Cynic in their ‘wannabe thrash metal’ days and is recommended to hardcore Cynic fans only.



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user ratings (42)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2010



20636 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I actually prefer '88 Demo to this, but by a very tiny bit.

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

Willie
Moderator
March 16th 2010



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'm not really a fan of any of the demos until the '91 demo. Good review, though. I think you wanted to start the second paragraph with "one" not "once".

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2010



20636 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The '90 demo is where they started showing signs of improvement, but Demo 1991 was definitely their best. Thanks, and yeah I meant "one".

cvlts
March 16th 2010



8954 Comments


bam

rattlehead42147
March 16th 2010



1345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i like this demo but then again focus is my favorite album of all time. i dont agree with the riffs being mediocre (at least not completely) i think the arrangements are the problem ie you listen to this and its not very memorable because theres so much going on. they fixed that problem with everything post focus. idk good stuff not something id listen to everyday but nice to see a snapshot in the evolution of a genre defining band.

BoovTheAlmighty
March 17th 2010



21 Comments


I like the '88 Demo more than this too, '90 and '91 demo's are my favourites though. Pleading for Preservation off the '91 demo is such a headbanger.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2010



20636 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Agreed

Pharoh
December 12th 2011



3326 Comments


its alright

NightmareCinema16
December 3rd 2012



2016 Comments


Review was good, that is a given. Never really gotten into Cynic, I still don't know why.

ItsTehLul
January 1st 2013



30 Comments


This album is so horrible.

GiaNXGX
January 18th 2013



4867 Comments


it's not so bad

demigod!
January 18th 2013



43857 Comments


yea i've heard early cynic is wank

Digging: Black Flag - My War

bach
January 18th 2013



11955 Comments


Pretty much. Their early sound is in the vein of thrash and hardcore punk.

Digging: Walknut - Graveforests And Their Shadows

oltnabrick
May 16th 2013



30133 Comments


um this is pre coo lol

Digging: Wretched Excess - Away From This World



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