Monday, 21 November 2011

E.P. Review: Cynic - Carbon-Based Anatomy

Review by Glen Lester

Cynic have proven to be a hard band to fit within a single genre, ever since their debut album 'Focus' in 1993. After the release of 'Focus', Cynic became a major cult band and created a landmark sound within Progressive Metal - utilizing technical musicianship with Death Metal vocals and a strong Jazz influence, akin to their musical peers - Atheist. 

Fast forward almost 20 years and having only released one other album which marked the bands return in 2008 with 'Traced in Air', Cynic this time show signs that there won't be another long absence and are here to stay. 

So how do you follow up two critically acclaimed masterpieces?  

Carbon-Based Anatomy is the bands latest offering which comes in the form of a 6-track E.P. Why the band have chosen to do an E.P. over an album seems to have been to keep up the bands nature of quality over quantity, and not wanting fans to wait so long between albums. 

The E.P showcases a newer sound for the band, that moves away more from their Metal sound, as there are no growls here like the older material from 'Focus'. Instead, we are treated to the hauntingly atmospheric clean vocals from lead singer and guitarist Paul Masvidal. The direction seems to be one of progression rather than reliving past glory's and this release features a more progressive rock vibe, conjuring moods akin to such bands as Porcupine Tree. 

Highlights of this E.P. include the sublime musicianship on show, that any fan of Cynic from past or present will be impressed with; and coupled with the newer elements of the bands sound which showcase world music and ambient atmospherics, all make this release a unique and beautiful listening experience. The production on this E.P. is also noteworthy and is best to listen to on headphones to emmerse yourself in the atmosphere that's layered from every direction. 

It's rumoured that Cynic will have a full album released next year, but in the meantime this will be more than enough the wet the appetite of fans! 

Score: 8/10