Review Summary: Demo that may have fans of today's Cynic scratching their heads.
Cynic is a progressive death metal band from Florida in 1987. They have become very well known in the genre for their unique style and the way they incorporate jazz into their music, but it wasn't always this way. Before Cynic became the beast we all know and jizz over today they released some very straightforward demos.
Essentially Cynic's 1990 Demo is thrash with a bit of technicality thrown in for good measure. Many people won't bother checking this out considering it is a demo but surprisingly the quality is very good for the time it was recorded. With this demo Cynic dropped most of their punk influence that was present on their previous demo and went with an even thrashier sound.
Paul Masvidal often has his vocal performance compared to Death's Chuck Schuldiner. This comparison isn't too far off, they wield very similar styles. Paul does a works well with the band's sound at the time, his raspy low end scream is the dominant vocal style. There isn't much variation, but taking into consideration that the demo is only three songs long his style doesn't get old and is relatively enjoyable. No robot style vocals are used in this demo which is one of things that made Cynic a fairly standout band when they released Focus
. Even without the spacey progressive elements fully developed Cynic is successful in recording a great selection of songs.
Gobel and Masvidal both play with insane precision that really adds to the tight feel the musicianship has on this demo. As mentioned before this is more thrash oriented than their later work, this is probably the fastest music the band has ever recorded since they formed. "Lifeless Irony"
plays as a great opener featuring the best riffs the demo has to offer, and needless to say most will not be disappointed. The two solos played on "Thinking Being"
are played with precision and are guaranteed to melt even the face of the Fonz.
One thing that is very attractive about the mix of the album is that the bass is easily heard from beginning to end. Tony Choy plays the bass with grace and keeps the pace up along with the rest of the band. Overall his playing gives the sound a good boost in thickness and gives an amazing performance in "Thinking Being"
as well as the other tracks included on this demo. Sean Reinert blasts away on his kit throughout the album. His work on the album comes across pummeling with great power. At times Reinert slows it down but only as often as the rest of Cynic does which is very few and far between.
Overall this demo deserves a solid 3.5 out of 5. It is not anything to drool over but it is a adequate thrash release. This is an improvement compared to the band's previous demos but don't go in expecting Focus
or Traced in Air
because you will be sadly disappointed. For those interested in seeing Cynic's roots this is worth checking out.