Sunday, November 13, 2011


Cynic – Carbon-Based Anatomy EP
Season Of Mist, November 2011

Reactivated progressive death metal band Cynic is becoming harder and harder to classify as their music continues to drift off into towards complex space rock with each new release. Although their origins are in death metal, Cynic left that field behind with their return in 2008 with Traced In Air. You’ll be disappointed if you’re expecting a return to the heavy and bizarre sounds of 1994’s Focus, but those willing to embrace this developmental journey will continue to be entranced. There’s really only three traditional songs on this six-song EP, as “Amidst The Coals”, “Bija!”, and “Hieroglyph” are trance-like interludes filled with chants and spoken word parts. The meat of Carbon-Based Anatomy is the title track, “Box Up My Bones”, and “Elves Beam Out”. “Carbon-Based Anatomy” features jazz-inspired drum fills everywhere underneath a simple bass and guitar line that only gets interrupted by acoustic passages that build into solo that is the track’s climax. “Box Up My Bones” is easier to grasp, and also follows a heavy acoustic rock sound. Things get a little weirder with “Elves Beam Out”, but its rhythmic chorus brings a sense of heaviness back to the mix. I admit to feeling a little let down with Traced In Air, but Carbon-Based Anatomy shows a maturing of Cynic’s new direction where the band sounds more comfortable and confident. The doors are wide open for fans of progressive rock in the mold of Porcupine Tree and The Pineapple Thief to embrace Cynic, and I’m already eagerly awaiting to hear what the next record with sound like.

Cynic performs tonight, Sunday, November 13 at Station 4 in St. Paul with support from Metal Blade recording artist 3 and locals Iron Thrones.

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