April 8, 2009

Why You Should Listen To Metal: Cynic

Metal is an underappreciated genre. Granted, the current trend of lyrical delivery that most contemporary metal bands employ is in many cases an aquired taste, and in many more an immediate deal-breaker. Metal still lies for the most part outside of the mainstream. But underneath all of this lies an abundance of aggressive compositions unexplored in most modern pop music and an emphasis on technical mastery seen little outside of most jazz clubs.

Cynic was one of the most influential and experimental groups to emerge from the early 90's Death Metal scene then experiencing its birth in Florida. Pioneering a complex and innovative brand of what can best be described as jazz-metal, Cynic released a groundbreaking debut, Focus, in 1993. This album explored the aggression, technical prowess, and speed typical to other death metal releases, but set Cynic apart from other bands with smooth clean breakdowns, rhythmically challenging songs, and an interesting mix of death growls and vocoders.

Cynic's most recent release, Traced In Air, takes the band in a much more mature direction, abandoning the laser speed and chug based riffs in favor of slowing down and mellowing out without pussying out, leaving them with a more balanced, and overall much more awesome sound. This band is without a doubt one of the most shining examples of what metal has the potential for. They come with a very high recommendation.

How Could I? from Focus (1993)
King of Those Who Know from Traced In Air (2008)

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